It’s safe to say life as a Formula 1 driver hasn’t started brilliantly for Oscar Piastri, with the new McLaren driver having stopped on-track during the post-season Abu Dhabi test.
Photos have been released showing the Australian driver jumping out of his stopped McLaren at Turn Seven, which, of course, is the right-hander that comes after the hairpin turn after the end of the incredibly long main straight.
According to reports, the 2021 F2 World Champion’s stoppage, which, caused a red flag, is believed to be due to a technical glitch rather than damage, a relief to the Woking-based side, if true.
The test was only stopped for less than 15 minutes, before normal service resumed.
Prior to his stoppage, the Aussie was enjoying a strong test, where he found himself above Mercedes driver George Russell.
Whilst his stoppage will be somewhat disappointing, the young driver just seems happy to finally be out of the Alpine garage.
Piastri joins McLaren after departing his role as Alpine’s reserve driver, where he famously rejected a full-time 2023 seat at the Enstone-based team.
The Aussie released a video on social media where he thanked all of his fans for their support, in what has been a challenging year for the driver.
“Hi everyone. Oscar here,” the Australian said in a video.
“I enjoyed my first day in papaya getting ready for tomorrow’s test. I’m super excited to be joining the team and hopefully we can start off tomorrow on the right foot. I’m looking forward to driving again so I’m looking forward to seeing you all and cheers.”
Piastri, of course, is replacing Daniel Ricciardo at the papaya side, with the 33-year-old opting to take a sabbatical in 2023.
Whilst he is taking a year out of F1, he will still most likely be seen in the paddock, as he’s expected to return to Red Bull as a development driver.
It’s believed he’ll complete a number of demo runs and also conduct work in the simulator, with the Austrians the “likely” home for the driver, as revealed by Ricciardo himself.
“That is the highly likely place for me, Red Bull,” Ricciardo said post-race.
“Obviously I can’t say 100 per cent until things are signed off and whatever but that is certainly what is closest now.”