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The Scintillating Rise of Oscar Piastri that Made F1 Teams Fight For Him

Published 02/20/2023, 9:30 AM EST

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Formula 1 has rarely seen a situation where two teams get on for the tussle for a young driver. A situation where two teams try everything to get the driver on their team and bestow him with the esteemed and precious seat. Not only this, but also they took each other to court to find a solution to the situation. One should already guess whom we’re talking about. Yes, it’s Oscar Piastri. The young Australian breakthrough driver finally made it into F1 after years of relentless hard work, when he replaced compatriot Daniel Ricciardo. In today’s article, we’ll share why Piastri, one of the most prized drivers on the grid, had the teams fight for him.

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Born on April 6, 2001, in Melbourne, Australia, Piastri started off with his remote control car career at the national level. As he excelled in his very first campaign, and soon after, the Australian began his karting career in 2011. This was his first ever professional start to the career and by 2014 Oscar did enough to get himself into a position where he could say goodbye to karting and move to future endeavors.

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Formula 4


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Piastri moved to the United Kingdom in 2016 after racing in the European as well as other FIA-sanctioned junior categories in 2015. In the UK, the Australian took part in FIA Formula 4 and landed himself his first-ever sponsorship HP Tuners. The sponsorship was owned by Piastri’s father, which helped the 21-year-old fund his racing career thereafter. So much so that HP Tuners were visible even during his GP3, F3, and F2 days in later stages.

Piastri made his single-seater debut in that year itself, with Dragon F4 to compete in Formula 4 UAE Championship. There, he took two podiums to finish the season in P6. In 2017, Oscar Piastri moved to the TRS Arden Junior Racing team for the British F4 championship, subsequently taking six pole positions to finish the season as a runner-up.


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He performed so brilliantly that Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner admitted in 2022 that he missed signing him to the Red Bull junior team during Piastri’s F4 years. As Piastri excelled, he took part in Trident’s post-season test in UAE in GP3 in the later stages of 2018. The Australian also made his debut in Formula Renault Eurocup in that year itself with Arden. There he finished the championship in P9 after picking up three podiums.


In 2019, Piastri switched to R-ace GP for the championship where he claimed his first GP3 victory in Silverstone. A day later, Piastri repeated his win at the same circuit and after that, he won in Spa-Francorchamps to make it three wins in 2019. Oscar Piastri finished the season as a champion after taking yet another win and P4 in the final round in Yas Marina.

Formula 3

Oscar Piastri joined FIA Formula 3 team Prema Racing in the latter half of 2019, where he met the likes of current Williams F1 driver Logan Sargeant and 2019 Formula Regional European champion Frederik Vesti. After a year of ups and downs in 2020, Piastri managed to win the championship after fending off title contenders Theo Pourchaire and Logan Sargeant by three and four points, respectively.

Formula 2

After winning the F3 championship, the Australian got the upgrade to F2 with the same Prema Racing team where he replaced outgoing Mick Schumacher in 2020. In 2021, after a season full of valiant performances, Piastri clinched his F2 championship that year as well. Winning six races, the current McLaren F1 driver left behind the likes of Ferrari Academy driver Robert Schwartzman and Alfa Romeo F1 driver Guanyu Zhou.


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Through his impeccable performances in 2020 in F2, the Australian joined the elite list of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg, and George Russell. They were the only drivers to win the GP2/F2 title in their rookie seasons. Moreover, he became one of the five drivers to win the GP3/F3 title, and then the GP2/F2 title the following year, and the first driver to win three consecutive F1 feeder series championships, with his 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup titles after Hamilton, Leclerc, Russell, and Hulkenberg.

After quite an illustrious junior career, Oscar Piastri finally landed himself in F1 to join as the Renault Sport Academy driver in 2020. He stayed in the team after it was rebranded to Alpine the year after. In 2022, he was allowed to join McLaren by FIA CRB’s declaration as the pressure began to mount on the young driver.


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WATCH THIS STORY: Is Formula E faster than Formula 1?

Oscar Piastri is all set to make his debut in F1 after McLaren sent out Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2022. After snatching the prized Australian from Alpine, McLaren will have Piastri start for the team alongside Lando Norris in 2023.



Sabyasachi Biswas

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Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 and NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sabyasachi is an ardent Red Bull and Max Verstappen fan and has been following the sport for over a decade now.

Edited By: Varunkumaar Chelladurai