Oscar Piastri: Nico Rosberg predicts ‘big challenge’ at McLaren, while Red Bull ‘regrets’ not signing youngster
“Daniel [Ricciardo] is a multiple race winner, one of the best drivers in the world, and has found it incredibly tough against Landau [Norris], Oscar [Piastri] Brand new to the sport!”; Sky Sports F1’s Nico Rosberg talks McLaren’s new driver line-up
Last Updated: 22/09/229:07 am
Sky Sports F1’s Nico Rosberg predicts 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 draw-out and a controversial transfer saga, current alpine reserve Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo as Norris’ teammate next season, with McLaren ready for the youngest driver line-up in Formula 1.
But at only 22 years old, it’s Norris’s pace that has finally sealed Ricciardo’s fate – and what could be a toxic cup against the now 21-year-old Piastri and one of the most successful and highly rated juniors, Norris .
“It will be tough for the Oscars to do well there,” Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, said. “Lando is world class, he’s world championship material there so it won’t be easy to go there and outperform Danielle.
Lando Norris, who qualified for the Dutch GP in seventh place, is enjoying competing against new McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri next season.
“Ricciardo is a multiple race winner, one of the best drivers in the world, and has found it incredibly tough against Lando. Oscar is brand new to the sport!
“All indications are that Oscar is indeed one of those future superstars. But I really can’t believe that all of a sudden Ricciardo has learned to drive super fast.
“So, I think it’s Lando who is performing like a world champion at the moment, he’s just driving so incredibly well.
Nico Rosberg is shocked at how badly Alpine has managed Oscar Piastri’s position, claiming he should have solidified the contract after investing so much.
“So I really think it’s going to be a big, big challenge to be close to Lando for the Oscars next year.”
Norris scored 45 points more than Ricciardo at McLaren in 2021, while he leads his eight-time race-winning team-mate this season from 88 points to 19. He is also up 14-2 in qualifying head-to-head this year.
Piastri comes after winning back-to-back titles in Formula 3 and Formula 2 in 2020 and 2021 – a feat previously achieved by Charles Leclerc and George Russell – although could not land a race seat for 2022 .
“It’s a brave move by the Oscars, it really is,” Rosberg said. “It’s either he beat Lando or he’s basically out of the game, so it’s really tough, but he believes in himself. And if you think you’re that good, you have to go for it.” have to go
Australian Oscar Piastri sends a message to McLaren fans, thanks Alpine and ‘can’t wait to represent Papaya’.
“As for the Oscars, if you’re a young driver and you have the opportunity to race for McLaren, and you’re free to do that, you have to accept it. Opportunities like that don’t come all the time, so that’s all.” did something right.”
Speaking about his move to McLaren, which came after a contract accreditation board ruled Alpine did not have a valid contract for him for 2023, Piastri told F1: “His enthusiasm to have me was very alluring.
“McLaren has a competitive car. Obviously it’s a tough fight right now between Alpine and McLaren, but they are a competitive team with a lot of winning history, and I think the environment is very suitable for me.
“The team has great plans and the future is exciting. I am also looking forward to working and driving with Lando. I know it will be a challenge, but I think McLaren will be a great way for me to start life in F1.” Right place to start. I’m so excited to get started.”
Red Bull regret not signing Piastri
Red Bull has been renowned for developing young talent in F1 – and team boss Christian Horner admitted he regrets not signing Piastri.
“Oscar drove for the Arden team in Formula 4 and Formula Renault, and was obviously a significant talent,” Horner said on F1 off grid podcast. “At that point there was an opportunity for Red Bull to see him and we didn’t take that option, which I’m sorry.
“But what they achieved is unprecedented in Formula 3 and Formula 2.
Christian Horner admits that he would have preferred Max Verstappen to win the race under normal racing rules rather than in the back of a safety car.
Horner said that “if he was the driver here, there would be no way he wouldn’t have been under lock and key for some time” and called Piastri a “great driver”.
“The only problem he has to deal with now is the expectation on him will be too high,” Horner said.
Horner continued that he rated Norris “too much”.
“He has to get down and deliver against Lando, which is no small feat,” he said. “But you either sink or swim in this business. And he’s a very capable driver. I’m sure he’s going to do very well.”