Daniel Ricciardo insists Oscar Piastri ‘kicked off’ despite young gun’s frustrating start to life with McLaren
- Daniel Ricciardo gave his opinion on Oscar Piastri
- McLaren star struggled with car trouble
- Ricciardo was replaced by Piastri at the end of 2022
Daniel Ricciardo believes Oscar Piastri is having a good first season despite the young Australian’s setbacks at McLaren.
Piastri replaced Ricciardo at McLaren for the 2023 season, with hopes the Melbournian could pose a tougher challenge to team-mate Lando Norris than Ricciardo had taken up.
However, the pair had to work with a mediocre car that struggled to keep pace at the start of the season and while Norris managed to win three top 10s, Piastri didn’t do as well as the Briton.
The 22-year-old is two places behind Norris in the drivers’ standings, but Ricciardo – who is now Red Bull’s third driver – is confident the only way is clear for his compatriot.
“It’s always difficult when you look at a team, which is not performing where it wants to be.” Lando is the benchmark, and it’s hard to know if 12th is good or not,” Ricciardo told Total-Motorsport.com.
Daniel Ricciardo gave his honest verdict on the young McLaren pistol Oscar Piastri
Piastri, 22, replaced Ricciardo with the Formula 1 team but has struggled this season
“Although Lando hit the wall in Arabia, Oscar came through and did a good qualifying, and Arabia is not an easy track. So I think it was a good sign for him. Since then, of course , Lando had a small advantage.
“But he’s still early in the Oscars career, you probably can’t expect much from him yet.” So I think he hit the ground running. He had a good first lap in Miami. So I think he did pretty well.
McLaren team boss Zak Brown was asked about Piastri earlier this year and claimed he made the right choice to end Ricciardo’s contract early to land the youngster.
“What we want to have…is two riders pushing each other. And I think the early indications are that Oscar will be on the same pace as Lando, and the two will be pushing each other hard,” he said.
But Ricciardo believes the only way is open for the Aussie and he’s off to a good start
“And that’s what you expect from your two drivers, to know that it’s up to you as a team to provide them with a car to get to the front.” When looking at the list of things you need to have a winning team, having two Grand Prix riders is critically important.
I think we have that. I think we’re all big Daniel fans… he lights up a room when he walks in and smiles and I don’t think he knows exactly why it didn’t click. Sometimes drivers just need to recharge their batteries.
“Fernando has done it and Alain Prost has done it over the years, so hopefully Daniel will have the opportunity to go and try to win his ninth Grand Prix, and many more, because I think we would all like to see him back on the grid on a regular basis.’