McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl, has said he can draw similarities between Oscar Piastri and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Piastri won the Formula 3 title in 2020 in his first crack at it, before claiming the Formula 2 crown last season.
The 21-year-old was promoted to his current role as Alpine reserve driver at the start of this season, but he started getting mixed messages as to his future.
Depending on Fernando Alonso’s performance at the end of next season, team principal Otmar Szafnauer, told the Australian that he might not be on the grid with the team until 2025.
However, he wanted to keep him as part of the programme anyway, so it was possible that he might not even have a drive in either of the next two seasons.
Alonso became impatient at being told he needed to be reviewed after the end of next season despite his status as a double world champion and, at 41 years old, arguably still one of the quickest on the grid.
The Spaniard has signed with Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel, while Piastri will join McLaren next year to replace the struggling Daniel Ricciardo.
Seidl previously worked with Vettel in his BMW days, and he was there when the German made his points-scoring debut at the 2007 US Grand Prix.
Vettel went on to win four titles on the bounce with Red Bull, and a lot of the qualities that Seidl saw in his compatriot, he also sees with Piastri.
“The most important thing is always results on track from these guys, and I think these results speak for himself or speak for itself,” he said during the Dutch Grand Prix when asked to compare Piastri with Vettel and Robert Kubica, who drove for the team between 2006 and 2010.
“But as I said before, the way I got to know him and all the conversations I had with him, I think he has everything he needs in order to be successful in this sport.
“And that’s why we are all really looking forward to getting going with him next year, after we hopefully have a good finish to the season with Daniel and Lando [Norris], because that’s the main focus now.”
Having made the difficult decision to part ways with Ricciardo at the end of the season, Seidl detailed why he chose Piastri as his replacement.
“The reason why I wanted to get Oscar on board is because he has shown in his junior career that he is a very talented driver with a lot of potential,” he explained.
“I think also in terms of personality he has everything he needs in order to be successful in Formula 1.
“He is young, fresh, full of energy, I think he has the right level of self-confidence as well.
“But at the same time, he’s very humble and he’s fully aware of the big challenge that is ahead of him, we are fully aware of that as well.
“It is complex for any rookie to join Formula 1, it is not just about driving quickly around the racetracks, there’s a lot more involved.
“But I feel with the team we have in place, with everything Oscar has, that we are in a in a very good place in order to get him well prepared before he starts his first race next year in Bahrain.
‘And I’m quite optimistic that he can first of all have a good start with us and then have a great career in Formula 1.”
Ricciardo has recently confirmed that he spoke with Piastri and his manager, Mark Webber, to confirm that there is no ill will between them.