Born in Melbourne, just a stone’s throw away from the Australian Grand Prix venue, a young Oscar Piastri’s dreams of one day racing in Formula 1 were ignited by the sport’s star drivers roaring around his local streets, otherwise known as Albert Park.
But it would take huge commitment and sacrifice to turn that dream into a reality, with a move to Europe – made by the likes of fellow countrymen Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo before him – the only way to go up against the best and catch the attention of the sport’s decision-makers.
Using success on the Australian karting scene as a springboard, Piastri continued to learn the craft in championships across Europe, before getting his first taste of single-seater competition as a 15-year-old – two podium finishes in F4 UAE a sign of things to come.
From there, success flowed. British F4 runner-up. Formula Renault champion. F3 champion. F2 champion (by more than 50 points). Piastri did not simply climb the junior single-seater ladder, he charged up it to knock loudly on the F1 door.
So impressive was Piastri that two F1 teams squabbled over his services for 2023, adding a new dimension to the driver market and so-called ‘silly season’.
After a meeting of the Contract Recognition Board, it was confirmed that it was McLaren, and not long-time backers Alpine, that had the right to Piastri’s services, and with whom the 21-year-old is set to realise his F1 dream.