Oscar Piastri not worried about falling into Daniel Ricciardo trap

McLaren’s Formula 1 cars often cater to a very specific driving style.

Daniel Ricciardo was unfortunately a victim of the MCL36’s unique driving style requirements, with the car requiring a specific style of driver to extract the maximum performance.

The car had a much stronger rear end than front, meaning that the McLaren drivers often had to take a softer approach to corners that the other teams.

The Australian has built a successful career with Red Bull and Renault using his iconic late-breaking driving style and has explained that he became to detached from his racing identity while desperately trying to make things work at McLaren.

Lando Norris on the other hand appears to be a perfect fit for the MCL36, with the Brit being the only driver outside of the top three teams to score a podium last year, completely destroying Ricciardo in the championship along the way.

READ: Toto Wolff wants Mick Schumacher to land ‘permanent seat’

Coming into the team as a rookie, Oscar Piastri has suggested that he is not worried about suffering a similar fate to his elder countryman at McLaren, with the MCL36’s problems potentially being a 2022-limited problem.

“It’s difficult to say if it’s a McLaren characteristic or a 2022 characteristic,” said Piastri.

“I don’t want to put it in the ‘it’s a McLaren characteristic’ basket.

“I think there are maybe a few small things that are built different.”

Article continues below

Piastri will have limited time to get used to McLaren’s 2023 challenger, which is set to be unveiled to the world on February 13th.

The 21-year-old was able to take to the track in Paul Ricard in last year’s McLaren over the course of last season and will have approximately a day and a half in Bahrain testing to get used to the new car, sharing the test days with Lando Norris.

Having driven last year’s car, Piastri has experienced first-hand what adaptations are needed, but he has suggested that as teams continue to develop their cars, every driver will have to somewhat adapt their style.

READ: Toto Wolff cautions Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

“You have to change it more or less every year, and the cars are constantly getting developed, even throughout the season, you might have to adapt,” he explained.

“There’s a few things that did need a bit of changing, but there was nothing that was completely alien.”

As a rookie, Piastri will be given the benefit of the doubt during his early days with the team but McLaren CEO Zak Brown has claimed that he expects Piastri to be able to challenge Lando Norris in time, a daunting task for the youngster.