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McLaren back Piastri to overcome Alpine saga pressure

McLaren back Piastri to overcome Alpine saga pressure

McLaren back Piastri to overcome Alpine saga pressure

McLaren back Piastri to overcome Alpine saga pressure
Ian Parkes

Former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has played down the prospect of Oscar Piastri being weighed down by the added pressure of his contract saga with Alpine.

The Australian will make his F1 debut with Woking-based McLaren alongside Lando Norris next season as the replacement for countryman Daniel Ricciardo.

Piastri was at the centre of F1's latest contract dispute after being called up from his Alpine reserve role to replace Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso, only to deny signing his part of the deal.

It then transpired the former F2 champion had already signed a deal with McLaren, with the Contract Recognition Board forced to intervene.

Although McLaren was declared the rightful party, there are concerns that Piastri will experience added pressure when facing his rookie season.

Speaking to GPFans before his sensational switch to Sauber to become CEO, Seidl said: “I don't know actually how much extra pressure this story from the summer creates for him.

"There's always pressure when you enter Formula 1 as a rookie. He will simply not think too much about it.

“In the end, we have a clear program in place with a lot of boxes that we want to tick until he's hitting the track for the first time in Bahrain next year with the goal to try to be as prepared as possible so that it actually doesn't feel like his first-ever Formula 1 race.

“For a rookie coming into Formula 1, it’s a big challenge, another dimension compared to the junior categories.

“At the same time, with everything he has shown in the junior categories, plus with the personality and character he is, he has everything in order to have a successful start in Formula 1.

“McLaren is also a team that can give him the right environment with a clear understanding of how big this challenge is in order to get started in the right way.”

Additional reporting by Ewan Gale

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