Ex-team make shocking claim about Oscar Piastri

Rookie Oscar Piastri is part of an incredibly exclusive club of drivers who claimed the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles in back-to-back seasons.

Oscar Piastri is just a few hours away from embarking on the start of his Formula 1 career, with the Australian likely set for a challenging start to life at McLaren.

The Woking-based team endured a woeful three days of testing, with the side having completed the fewest number of laps.

In actual fact, Piastri completed the third fewest number of laps on the grid, something he admits has made this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix a “challenge”.

So much is expected from Piastri, who McLaren signed to replace eight-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo, highlighting how talented the young Aussie is.

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Piastri is part of a very exclusive club of drivers, with the 21-year-old having won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles in back-to-back seasons, before becoming Alpine’s reserve driver.

His success at the junior level certainly didn’t go unnoticed, with his team from F3 and F2 having revealed that the McLaren rookie is “better” than Ferrari star Charles Leclerc.

Both Piastri and Leclerc raced for Prema during their junior career, with the side having gone as far as stating that Piastri is the “best young talent” since double World Champion Max Verstappen.

“I spoke to [Oscar’s] engineers at Prema, and they went to the point of saying he was better than Leclerc when they had Leclerc in Prema,” ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok said, as shared on Reddit.

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“They said: “You know, he was genuinely the best young talent to come through junior formula since Max Verstappen”.”

Piastri is certainly exceptionally talented, however, it’s likely that his true potential won’t be seen until McLaren can offer him a competitive car, something that he doesn’t look set to have in Bahrain this weekend.

The rookie wishes he “had more testing” but recognises that his fellow rookies are in a similar position ahead of the weekend.

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“It’s certainly a challenge, that’s for sure,” Piastri said. “If I had more testing, that would be great.

“Myself and Logan [Sargeant] are in the same position. Nyck [de Vries] is a rookie as well but he’s already done a race.

“It’s the same for all the rookies, I’m sure we’d all love a bit more testing. But I think just trying to maximise the time we’ve got is the most important thing.”