Oscar Piastri: Nico Rosberg predicts ‘big challenge’ at McLaren as Red Bull ‘regrets’ not signing youngster


“Daniel [Ricciardo] is a multi-race winner, one of the best drivers in the world, and found it incredibly difficult against Lando [Norris]. Oscar [Piastri] is brand new to the sport!”; Sky Sports F1’s Nico Rosberg has his say on McLaren’s new driver line-up

Last update: 09/21/22 3:50 p.m.

Sky Sports F1’s Nico Rosberg has predicted a “big, big challenge” for Oscar Piastri against Lando Norris at McLaren next season, insisting the “world-class” British driver is “championship material”.

After a drawn-out and controversial transfer saga, current Alpine reserve Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo as Norris’ team-mate next season, with McLaren set to have the youngest driver line-up in Formula 1.

But despite being just 22, it was Norris’ speed that ultimately sealed Ricciardo’s fate – and now Piastri, 21 and one of the most successful and highly rated juniors, faces to what could be a poisoned gift against Norris.

“It’s going to be tough for Oscar to do well there,” said Rosberg, the 2016 world champion. “Lando is world class, he’s world championship material there, so it won’t be easy. to go out there and do better than Daniel.

Lando Norris, who qualified seventh for the Dutch GP, is relishing competition against new McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri next season.

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Lando Norris, who qualified seventh for the Dutch GP, is relishing competition against new McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri next season.

Lando Norris, who qualified seventh for the Dutch GP, is relishing competition against new McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri next season.

“Ricciardo is a multiple race winner, one of the best drivers in the world, and he found the situation incredibly difficult against Lando. Oscar is brand new to the sport!

“Everything indicates that Oscar is really one of those future superstars. But I can’t really believe that Ricciardo suddenly unlearned to drive really fast.

“Therefore, I think it’s Lando who is acting like a world champion right now, he’s driving incredibly well.

Nico Rosberg was surprised at how poorly Alpine handled Oscar Piastri's situation, saying they should have made the contract strong after investing so much.

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Nico Rosberg was surprised at how poorly Alpine handled Oscar Piastri’s situation, saying they should have made the contract strong after investing so much.

Nico Rosberg was surprised at how poorly Alpine handled Oscar Piastri’s situation, saying they should have made the contract strong after investing so much.

“So I really think it will be a big, big challenge for Oscar next year to be close to Lando.”

Norris has scored 45 points more than Ricciardo in 2021 at McLaren, as he leads his eight-time winning teammate from 88 points to 19 this season. He’s also up 14-2 in head-to-head qualifying this year.

Piastri arrives having won back-to-back Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles in 2020 and 2021 – a feat previously achieved by Charles Leclerc and George Russsell – although he was unable to clinch a racing seat for 2022.

“It’s a brave move on Oscar’s part, it really is,” Rosberg said. “It’s either he beats Lando or he’s basically out of the sport, so it’s really, really difficult, but he believes in himself. And if you think you’re that good, you have to go.”

Australian Oscar Piastri sends a message to McLaren fans, thanks Alpine and

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Australian Oscar Piastri sends a message to McLaren fans, thanks Alpine and “can’t wait to represent the papaya”.

Australian Oscar Piastri sends a message to McLaren fans, thanks Alpine and “can’t wait to represent the papaya”.

“For Oscar, if you’re a young driver and you have the opportunity to race for McLaren, and you’re free to do so, you have to take it. Opportunities like that don’t come along all the time, then it’s all done right.”

Speaking about his move to McLaren, which came after a contract recognition committee decided Alpine did not have a valid contract for him for 2023, Piastri said. F1“Their enthusiasm to have me was very appealing.

“McLaren have a competitive car. Obviously it’s a close battle between Alpine and McLaren at the moment, but they’re a competitive team with a hell of a history of wins, and I think the environment suits me perfectly.

“The team has big plans and the future is exciting. I’m also looking forward to working and driving alongside Lando. I know it will be a challenge, but I think McLaren is the right place to start my career. life in F1. I’m super excited to start.”

Red Bull regrets not signing Piastri

Red Bull are famous for developing young talent in F1 – and team boss Christian Horner admits he regrets not signing Piastri.

“Oscar drove for the Arden team in Formula 4 and Formula Renault, and was obviously a big talent,” Horner said of F1. Beyond the Grid podcast. “There was an opportunity for Red Bull to look at him at the time and we didn’t choose that option, which I regret.

“But what he has achieved is phenomenal in Formula 3 and Formula 2.”

Christian Horner admits they would have preferred Max Verstappen to win the race under normal racing rules, rather than behind the safety car.

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Christian Horner admits they would have preferred Max Verstappen to win the race under normal racing rules, rather than behind the safety car.

Christian Horner admits they would have preferred Max Verstappen to win the race under normal racing rules, rather than behind the safety car.

Horner added that “if he had been a driver here, there would be no way he hadn’t been locked up for a while” and called Piastri a “great driver”.

“The only problem he has to deal with now is that the expectations of him will be huge,” Horner said.

Horner went on to say that he rated Norris “a lot”.

“He’s going to have to come in and deliver against Lando, which is no small feat,” he said. “But either you sink or you swim in this business. And he’s a very, very capable driver. I’m sure he’ll do very well.”




Sky Sports

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