Oscar Piastri secured his long-term future with McLaren this week, penning a two-year extension on his current deal that will see the Australian rookie race for the Formula 1 team until 2026… and the new deal confirms what we’re all thinking.
Singapore had it all and was a reflection of a forgotten era in Formula 1 when cars and drivers were able to battle it out for the top spot with immense wheel-to-wheel action. Cc. Max Verstappen.
Amid all the drama that saw Sainz expertly fend off the onslaught of pursuing rivals, resulting in a Lando Norris P2 and another podium finish for F1’s GOAT Lewis Hamilton following a late crash from his Mercedes teammate, Oscar Piastri, McLaren’s rookie Australian driver, was able to climb 10 places from 17th in a notoriously narrow and tight circuit to finish in P7 and secure crucial points for his team.
But it could’ve gone a lot worse for Piastri in what has ended up being a tricky debut season for the Australian driver in Formula 1.
Thrust into the spotlight after a tumultuous introduction to life at McLaren, Piastri seemingly took it all in his stride, showing composure beyond his years to score his first points for his new team just three races into his debut F1 season.
Coupled with the fact that McLaren failed to hit development targets with the MCL60 and was disadvantaged by a rule change that left them lagging behind their on-grid rivals, despite these hurdles, Piastri’s ability to secure points is a testament to his talent and determination, and it undoubtedly caught the attention of the McLaren hierarchy.
The Papayas have seemingly turned their fortunes around this season and since the British Grand Prix in July, in which Piastri celebrated a career-high P4 (although he should have been popping the champagne on his first F1 podium), the McLarens have consistently outperformed their midfield rivals and leapfrogged Mercedes and Ferrari for pacesetters in second.
Since then, a healthy return of 18 points from 5 races has cemented Piastri’s position in the McLaren and the young Australian driver has secured his future with the British racing team until 2026 – and that can only mean one thing.
WATCH McLaren fans serenade Oscar Piastri following his career-high fourth-place finish below.
“It’s fantastic to confirm that Oscar has signed a multi-year extension with the team,” said Andrea Stella., McLaren Team Principal. “Oscar is an asset to McLaren and constantly impresses with his performance, work ethic and attitude, so it was an easy decision for the team to make.”
Aged just 22, Piastri is the youngest permanent driver on the grid but has already shown that his standout strength is his immeasurable maturity behind the wheel – it’s no wonder that McLaren wanted to keep him around for longer than his current 2024 deal.
“I am thrilled to be extending my partnership with McLaren for many years,” said Piastri. “I want to be fighting it out at the front of the grid with this team and I am excited by the vision and foundations that are already being laid to get us there.”
Piastri’s emergence as a reliable and exciting young driver has only cemented his position with McLaren beyond his current 2024 deal and it’s only a matter of time until the young Australian secures his first podium.
One thing’s for certain, Oscar Piastri is the real deal.