Piastri sober about first podium: ‘Not in the top three best performances of the season’

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Piastri sober about first podium: 'Not in the top three best performances of the season'

Oscar Piastri admits that he rarely dares to dream of success in Formula 1, despite a successful career in junior classes and good results in the main class itself. Although the young Australian won a sprint race and took two Grand Prix podiums in his first season, he does not necessarily see this as success.

“I always try to focus on the next session or the next weekend and try to maximize that,” Piastri told Speedcafe. ‘You always end a race weekend knowing that you have done well or not.’ As an example, Piastri takes the Japanese Grand Prix in 2023, where he finished third after Max Verstappen and teammate Lando Norris. “We clearly had the second-fastest car, so when Sergio Pérez dropped out, getting on the podium was the minimum result for us.” According to the McLaren driver, it would have felt very different with a slower car. ‘The result is the same, but the feeling of how you achieved it is completely different.’

Formula 1 is very dependent on the car

Piastri indicates that he will look at the season race by race and achieve the best possible results. For a good end result, the car must of course also be very strong, he knows. The chance of winning a Grand Prix or even a championship is therefore very small. For that reason, the young driver doesn’t think about it often. “I rarely dare to dream about it,” the Australian admits. “This sport depends on both the car and the driver,” he emphasizes. ‘Especially from the car. If you drive the slowest car on the grid you’re not going to win a race or championship, it’s as simple as that.’

Piastri does not necessarily see dreaming about victories as a good thing when you drive a somewhat inferior car. “No matter how much you want it, it’s not going to happen,” he indicates. ‘So if you hope or dream about it, it can very quickly become demoralizing instead of constructive.’ The McLaren man therefore remains realistic and focuses on what is possible. “I get a lot more pride and happiness from focusing on those things,” he says. ‘If you can come third, go ahead, come third. But if you clearly don’t have a car that can win a race, then there’s little point in thinking about it.”

Japan not one of the best performers

The Australian driver views his performance as objectively as possible. “You can always easily assess yourself and determine whether you are having a good or bad weekend and whether you got everything out of it,” he says. His podium finish in Japan, his first podium in Formula 1, is therefore not at the top of Piastri’s list of best performances. “It’s not in my top three, maybe not even in my top five best performances of the season, despite it being one of my best results of the season.” According to him, the results that one sees on paper do not say everything. ‘Sometimes the results don’t tell the whole story of how a weekend went in my experience.’

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