Formula One

Webber: Piastri needs more time to improve in F1


Mark Webber believes protégé Oscar Piastri has time on his hands to boost his experience and improve in Formula 1.

As an Alpine junior, a lack of a race seat with the French outfit forced Piastri to the sidelines in 2022 in the wake of his consecutive championship wins in Formula 3 and in Formula 2.

The 22-year-old’s transfer to McLaren brought the hope of a competitive drive in his maiden campaign as a Grand Prix driver.

But the performance of the Woking-based outfit’s 2023 car has so far fallen short of expectations.

However, Piastri has acquitted himself well, the Aussie securing top-ten finishes at his home race in Melbourne and in Monaco, and earning high praise from McLaren boss Zak Brown who believes the young gun is a world champion in the making.

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL60. 03.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Qualifying Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images

Asked what Piastri needs to take his skill to the next level: Webber said: “Just time”.

“We’re in Disneyland to say he’s going to go out there and naturally match one of the top three drivers in the world right now in Lando Norris,” said the nine-time Grand Prix winner.

“But it’s what he did in qualifying in Monaco, missing out by two hundredths [of a second], and he was close again in Barcelona.

“So time is going to be the best thing that he’s got, and that’s something we can’t buy obviously.

“He just needs more mileage, more laps and more circuits, all those things.

“It’s a brilliant trajectory he’s on, and obviously we’re all extremely proud so far of how he’s adapted.”


Assessing his own progress after seven races, Piastri believes he’s still a little slow to kick into gear on race weekends and should seek to ramp up his performance at a faster pace.

“In qualifying, I’ve sort of been there or thereabouts for a while now,” he explained.

“In practice [in Spain], I wasn’t super happy. In FP3 I think I made a good step and was happy from the start of quali again.

“So there seems to be a bit of a similar trend in that I’m getting better through the weekend, which is nice when it happens.

“But I still want to be able to get on to the pace a little bit earlier in the weekend, which is still something I’m focusing on.

“When we take the fuel out of the car the grip comes up, which just makes everything a little bit easier as well, being more comfortable.

“But I also want to start driving a bit better earlier in the weekend, too.”

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Webber: Piastri needs more time to improve in F1

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