Lengthy-awaited McLaren debut a big day for Piastri
Oscar Piastri says his long-awaited public take a look at debut for McLaren was a big day and provides him a head begin on 2023 after finishing greater than 100 laps on the Pirelli tire take a look at in Abu Dhabi.
Groups may run two automobiles throughout Tuesday’s take a look at, offered one was for race drivers finishing up tire testing and the opposite pushed by a rookie. Piastri will race for McLaren subsequent season however ticked the latter field by advantage of not but made a race begin, and after an settlement was reached with Alpine he was capable of make his first public look for his new group on the Yas Marina Circuit.
“It’s a cool feeling,” Piastri says. “A really completely different feeling to the Younger Driver Take a look at that I did final 12 months as a result of I knew that was a day to have enjoyable in an F1 automobile whereas this 12 months, it’s a constructing block in the direction of subsequent 12 months.
“But it surely was superior to have my first day with McLaren, get to know everybody within the group and attempt to enhance, get again up to the mark for subsequent 12 months. A reasonably particular one.”
Piastri was on monitor concurrently Lando Norris, ending up 0.5s faster than his new teammate however on a distinct program – and mentioned having the ability to see how he performs in the identical automobile on the identical day was an vital studying expertise.
“I positively was ready to take a look at how he drives the automobile,” he mentioned. “He’s made it work effectively this 12 months in order that was good to have that first reference of how Lando drives the automobile and seeing what he does in another way and the identical in some locations. It was good to have that reference.
“We had two units of C5 (ED: tires – the softest compound) on the finish, so it wasn’t a qualifying sim, however you’re on mushy tires and doing one or two push laps on the tires. In my place, I’m definitely pushing as shut as I can to the restrict. I definitely wasn’t driving round, simply placing round.
“We tried plenty of various things. Did some longer runs, getting used to that and just a few driving strategies. Some issues which can be possibly completely different to automobiles I’ve pushed earlier than. That was the principle purpose of at the moment.”
Forward his first go to to the McLaren manufacturing facility subsequent week, Piastri says having expertise of the present automobile and what he’ll want from it to be extra comfy offers him a lot to work on over the low season.
“It’s actually, actually optimistic,” he mentioned. “Driving the automobile at the moment was probably the most optimistic factor, and also you clearly can’t substitute something for monitor time. So having at the moment was actually vital; a extremely optimistic factor. After which engaged on the peripherals and attending to know my engineers higher and everybody within the group higher, and if there’s just a few issues that I wish to change for subsequent 12 months, I can discuss to folks about that.
“Fairly wanting ahead to having the ability to design a few of my very own little issues if I wish to, all of that form of background stuff that doesn’t essentially get seen. That’s all stuff I can work on within the subsequent six weeks.”