Mark Webber reveals why Oscar Piastri ‘was killing me’

Australian driver Oscar Piastri has excelled at McLaren this year, in what is his debut season in Formula 1.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has admitted that Oscar Piastri not racing in 2022 “was killing me inside”, with the former driver being the young star’s manager.

After winning the 2021 Formula 2 title, Piastri sat on the bench at Alpine last season, as the French side’s reserve driver.

Despite being their reserve driver, Piastri wasn’t used once in a Free Practice session, with his driving time having been non-existent.

However, it initially appeared that he’d race for the Enstone-based team in 2023, after they confirmed that he’d replace Fernando Alonso.

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Moments after Alpine announced this on social media, Piastri insisted that this wasn’t the case and that he wouldn’t be racing for the French outfit this year.

This resulted in a legal back-and-forth, as it was discovered that he’d signed a deal to join McLaren and replace Daniel Ricciardo.

Alpine were furious and were adamant that Piastri was contracted to race for them, only for the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board to confirm that the 22-year-old could legally move to the Woking-based team.

This has proven to have been a piece of genius by Webber, who’s since admitted that McLaren was Piastri’s “only choice”.

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It’s proven to be the right choice nevertheless, as Piastri as already been given a new deal until the end of 2026, due to just how well the rookie has performed.

He’s already a sprint race winner and an F1 podium finisher, with McLaren having a real star on their hands.

Webber has been massively impressed at just how well McLaren have treated Piastri, with it starting to make up for the “travesty” which was 2022.

“It [signing with McLaren] was the only choice we had,” Webber told Viaplay.

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“It wasn’t too comforting for us last year knowing where he could end up. I was extremely nervous and frustrated that he did not race last year.

“We see what we missed. To have a guy like that not racing was a travesty and was killing me inside.

“McLaren was brilliant, right from the top. The shareholders, all the way through to make sure they got him. Now they’ve got two phenomenal drivers.”