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Piastri: “keeping a clear mind” key to his success

After enjoying one of the best rookie seasons in years, Piastri reflects on how he handled the pressure

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McLaren’s Oscar Piastri proves that your mentality plays a huge part in how you perform on the track.

The McLaren team after a double podium at the F1 Grand Prix of Japan (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Piastri had a very successful rookie season, becoming the first rookie since Lewis Hamilton to take multiple podiums in a season. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, especially towards the start of the season.

“I would say I’m very self-critical,” Piastri told Autosport. “For me, there’s just not any point, especially in self-deprecation, destroying yourself in front of the media. If you want to do that on your own, then sure.”

In a sport like Formula 1, where there are always a lot of factors outside a driver’s control, focusing on what you can control is important for Piastri.

“For me, just trying to find answers to things is the most important thing. There’s been some difficult sessions, some difficult races. But, and I think this also comes across in my radio, there’s no point getting upset or emotional about things you can’t control.

“It’s much better to try and fix things that you can control than just get upset about them. So, that’s always been my way of trying to tackle these things and just trying to keep a clear mind.”

Keeping a clear mind can be hard, with all the drama that surrounds Formula 1. But Piastri is confident that, when things get tough, his driving “can do the talking.”

“I’m very new to the sport and especially in the first half of the year, I feel like I had enough controversy and headlines on my way into F1.

“I certainly wasn’t in a rush to cause any anymore and I kind of just try and let my driving do the talking.”

Webber’s influence and future with McLaren

Piastri has been guided throughout his career by former F1 race winner and fellow Australian Mark Webber. Webber has been instrumental in helping Piastri by giving him advice throughout his career.

“It’s mostly advice,” said Piastri on Webber’s influence. “His hindsight is my foresight in some ways. So, there’s been plenty of occasions, especially in the beginning of the year, where he’s come up with questions that haven’t even entered my mind.

“He’s just got that little bit of experience and added info that you can really learn a lot from and is useful. He’s still got a very keen eye for everything that I’m doing.”

Webber was key in the initial talks with McLaren to secure Piastri’s seat, and now that the young Australian has spent a season with the team, they’ve been eager to extend their contract with him.

“It was mostly from the team side of things, to be honest,” said Piastri on his extension. “I knew I was already signed up [for 2024], but it was a pleasant surprise for everyone to have the conversation of the extension a year earlier than what it could have been.

“For us, it was a no-brainer to extend it early. The team’s been on an impressive trajectory, I felt very welcomed and very at home now. So, it was an easy decision on both sides really.

“Certainly, no pressure from our side to get it done so early. But definitely a nice thing to put your mind at ease for even longer than it was.”

Feature Image Credit: @McLarenF1 on X

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