Mark Webber speaks out on Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri has finished in the top five at two of the last three races, following McLaren introducing upgrades.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber is “very proud” of rookie Oscar Piastri, whom he manages.

The former Formula 2 and Formula 3 World Champion has been exceptional this season and is certainly destined for greatness, with him already competing with talented team-mate Lando Norris.

Piastri started his rookie season slowly due to McLaren offering him an underwhelming car; however, the team and the Aussie have come to life following recent upgrades.

Since the Austrian Grand Prix, Piastri has been on fire, with him having finished in the top five at two of the last three races.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

He even finished second at the recent Belgian Grand Prix sprint race, after being defeated by Max Verstappen.

McLaren are very much on the rise, with Norris having claimed two podiums in the last three races.

Webber is aware that things are now moving “very fast” at the Woking-based team following their recent rapid progress, something which he thinks makes it “easy to forget” that Piastri is a rookie.

“I think it’s been an extraordinary few weeks for the whole team,” Webber said.

Article continues below

“The bar has been accelerated to a very high level, very fast within the group – we shouldn’t be shy about that.

“I think it’s still so easy to forget that Oscar didn’t race last year. I think the start of the year it does take time. It’s his first time in F1, it’s not like he’s returning from a break… He’s been away 15 months and has never raced in F1.

“Lando has been exceptional, Lando’s top drawer, we know that, and Oscar has just held himself in such… Of course, we’re all very proud of him.”

Piastri isn’t set to settle for his current level though, with Webber revealing that the young star will “keep getting better”.

READ: Toto Wolff praises ‘great guy’ Mick Schumacher amid uncertain future

“He’s had a phenomenal, phenomenal entry in his first year,” Webber added. “But being Oscar, he will continue to work on where he can improve and keep getting better.”

Having finished second in a sprint race, and fourth in fifth in actual races, his next target is to claim a podium.

Given McLaren’s recent pace, Piastri has every chance of securing a podium before the end of the season.