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Webber reveals "pivotal" detail ahead of Piastri debut

Webber reveals "pivotal" detail ahead of Piastri debut

F1 News

Webber reveals "pivotal" detail ahead of Piastri debut

Webber reveals "pivotal" detail ahead of Piastri debut

Oscar Piastri's manager Mark Webber believes the Australian's seat time with McLaren ahead of his rookie F1 season is "pivotal" for his success.

McLaren signed Piastri as the replacement for compatriot Daniel Ricciardo after wrangling the former F2 champion from Alpine following a short legal battle, with the Contract Recognition Board falling in favour of the Woking-based team.

Piastri's subsequent release by the French manufacturer enabled him to take to the track in older McLaren machinery, before joining the team that finished fifth in the constructors' standings for the Abu Dhabi post-season test.

Further testing will be available during the pre-season event in Bahrain at the end of February, though with only limited time to acclimatise, Webber has told Speedcafe that Piastri's 2022 testing was "pivotal".

“Obviously, the working environment is important, particularly for someone like Oscar, who’s so insanely detailed," added the former Minardi, Jaguar, Williams and Red Bull driver.

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“He’s methodical in his approach and McLaren has seen that already, which is great, but you can do as much at the factory as a reserve driver, whatever that is [or] can be, but you need to be racing and preparing for that.

“Ultimately, he’s enjoyed those tests and that was a good scenario, very good for us, brilliant scenario for us to be able to do those.

“[It] gives them and Oscar some things to think about obviously in preparation for Bahrain because the mileage is pretty short now.

“I’m a fossil now, I’m an old guy, but back in our day we used to do loads of testing but obviously for the youngsters now, it’s pretty thin on the ground.

“Oscar had done eight days in the car up until June and then had, like, a four-month gap, so it’s not like tennis or golf. It’s pretty hard on these youngsters these days.”

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