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Piastri reveals benefit of McLaren headstart after Alpine release

Piastri reveals benefit of McLaren headstart after Alpine release

F1 News

Piastri reveals benefit of McLaren headstart after Alpine release

Piastri reveals benefit of McLaren headstart after Alpine release

Oscar Piastri has revealed the positive effects of his headstart with McLaren.

The Australian was released by Alpine before the end of the season, allowing him to join McLaren for the Abu Dhabi post-season test.

Piastri finished 14th quickest and faster than team-mate Lando Norris, though times are largely irrelevant in the end-of-season affair, especially for a rookie like the former F2 champion who focused largely on integrating himself into the team.

The move was a focal point in the F1 driver market silly season after both Alpine and McLaren claimed a contract was signed for Piastri to step into the sport next year.

But the Contract Recognition Board viewed favourably for the Woking-based team and whilst Piastri remained with Alpine after the decision, the release was made late in the year.

Asked how important the headstart has been, given his previous contract would have prevented a switch until January, Piastri said: "It is really positive for me.

"Driving the car was the most positive thing and you can't substitute anything for track time. Having today was really important and a really positive thing to have.

"Then being able to work on the peripherals and getting to know my engineers and everyone in the team better, and if there are a few things I want to change for next year, I can talk to people about that.

"I am quite looking forward to being able to design some of my own little things if I want to.

"All of that background stuff that doesn't necessarily get seen, that is all stuff I can work on in the next six weeks."

On the next steps in his team acclimatisation, Piastri added: "I will be in the factory next week to have my official introduction, which will be nice, and meet everyone there.

"There are a whole lot of people to meet so I am looking forward to that.

"After that just continue to work in the sim, get to know my engineers better, my mechanics better.

"Without driving the car, those are the big ticket items to focus on."

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