Oscar Piastri says he’s more optimistic than Charles Leclerc

McLaren racer Oscar Piastri recently led parts of the Belgian Grand Prix sprint race entirely on merit.

Oscar Piastri is hopeful that McLaren will be able to catch Red Bull and fight the Austrians for victories in the future, although he recognises that it’s “going to be difficult”.

After starting the season woefully following a disappointing pre-season, McLaren have been one of the hottest teams in recent races, ever since they introduced a sensational upgrades package at the Austrian Grand Prix.

McLaren used Red Bull’s RB19 as inspiration in their giant developments package which saw an instant improvement at the Red Bull Ring and has since seen the side move comfortable clear in fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.

The Woking-based team’s upgrades have been so successful, that Lando Norris claimed back-to-back podiums in the British Grand Prix and the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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Piastri also claimed a huge result in the Belgian Grand Prix sprint race, where he finished second.

Both McLaren drivers have briefly led recent events, something which wasn’t feasible prior to their significant upgrades.

Their improvement has made many believe that McLaren are the most likely outfit to defeat Red Bull this season, something which is yet to happen.

Piastri is optimistic that the British team can catch Red Bull before the current regulations end, something Charles Leclerc doesn’t think will happen.

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The rookie recognises though, that it won’t be easy.

“I would like to hope we can catch them in that time. Do I think it’s going to be difficult? Yes,” Piastri told media including RacingNews365.com.

“They started the regulation cycle so strong last year, they’ve been even stronger this year.”

McLaren’s sudden improvement is massively impressive, as is Aston Martin’s compared to where they were in 2022.

The two Mercedes customer teams have made huge strides this season, something which has been made possible by the Aerodynamic Testing Restriction rules, which allow those who finish lower in the standings to use a wind tunnel for longer than the leading teams.

With the aerodynamic testing rules in mind, Piastri thinks this will be key to the field becoming closer to the likes of Red Bull, something he thinks “should” happen.

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“But I think seeing Aston Martin over the winter break and McLaren from one weekend to the next, us two teams have showed that you can make a big turnaround in a short period of time,” Piastri explained.

“Through dedication, hard work, and following the right directions.

“Of course we’re still a bit of a chunk off Red Bull, but also with the way the rules are with aero and wind tunnel time and stuff like that, it should bring everyone closer.

“But yeah, I hope we can beat them. I’m maybe a bit more optimistic than Charles, but it’s not gonna be easy.”