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Oscar Piastri Named Among Greats Like Raikkonen for Leaving Russell Sweating With Audacious Move

Published 09/27/2023, 4:00 AM EDT

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It’s all starting to make sense! Why he was so sought after? Why did two F1 teams fight for him, why he got an early contract extension, and what the hype was all about? It’s all starting to make sense as Oscar Piastri secured his first F1 podium, that too in his rookie season. The McLaren man is already proving his worth despite a slow start to life in F1. The rookie might’ve finished behind his teammate in P3 in Japan. However, his performances showcase why he would be alongside Lando Norris in no time. In fact, his race in Suzuka was enough to earn him a comparison with the F1 great Kimi Raikkonen.

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In his latest YouTube video debriefing, the 2023 Japanese GP debrief, Peter Windsor was full of praise for the rookie. Piastri was incredible throughout the weekend as he secured his highest qualifying result and race finish of his F1 career so far. The F1 veteran was especially impressed with the rookie’s pass on Mercedes‘s George Russell. This is exactly what made him compare Piastri to Raikkonen.


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“McLaren did a really good job of finishing in second and third and Lando ahead of Oscar. – Although Oscar’s pass on George Russell. George went into a one-stop strategy. – George is starting to slow down obviously on his one-stop strategy and Oscar catches him but getting past George is never easy. The guy is unbelievably aggressive. In the end, Oscar does a pass around the outside going into 1A and he’s there forcing George to give seed position getting into 1B,” explained Windsor.

He then expressed his high praise for the rookie. “For a rookie in a McLaren, that was one of the best passes I’ve for a long long time. I mean that was reminiscent of Kimi (Raikkonen) on Fizzy Keller sort of 2005. That was a really good pass,” he added.

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Piastri was patient from the start and was grateful for his chance to be part of the premier class with McLaren. However, the time and opportunities have arrived. Although the rookie will still have to wait a bit longer to start ticking off things from his F1 bucket list.

Peter Windsor points out why and how Lando Norris got the upper hand in Japan ahead of Oscar Piastri

The rookie shocked the grid, and perhaps his team, when he out-qualified Norris in Japan. According to F1 norms, the driver with a better track position and/or qualifying gets the strategic preference. However, that wasn’t the case in the McLaren garage in Japan. Norris got the preference and even team orders in his favor.


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However, Windsor has an explanation.


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He explained, “They brought him in earlier I think maybe just to juggle things around. Maybe to keep the two apart, because they were very closely matched & Oscar had out-qualified Lando. And above all, McLaren needed to get both cars through into P2 P3 & maybe a win if Max had a problem.” 


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WATCH THIS STORY: How Oscar Piastri Has Made a Scintillating Rise to the Pinnacle of Motorsport 

The logic is sound, and it worked as well. However, we are not sure how many more times will Piastri accept these team orders if this scenario keeps repeating.

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Written by:

Mahim Suhalka


One take at a time

Mahim Suhalka is a senior F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having written over 1500 articles, Mahim specializes in core sports coverage. Having followed the sport for a long time, his articles contain excellent analysis of the sport and he dives deeper into the technicalities of this complex sport.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare