Dutch racing driver Tom Coronel believes that Oscar Piastri has all of the tools to become ‘the next Max Verstappen’ after making an immense impression driving for McLaren in 2023.
Piastri’s rookie season is rapidly developing from a steady start to arguably the strongest from an F1 newbie since Lewis Hamilton fought for the title with McLaren back in 2008, marking the young Australian out as a potential future world champion.
Speaking on the RacingNews365 podcast, Coronel explained: “He has it 100 per cent in him to become the new Verstappen. Of course, there is still a lot to be done, but there is more potential in him than in anyone else I see driving Formula 1 at the moment. He has so much composure. You can see he is thinking and has over-capacity.”
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Coronel later said: “Of course, we could already see it, couldn’t we? F3 champion, F2 champion… And all in his first year. It’s actually a shame he didn’t race last year.
“On the other hand, that may also have been his salvation because he was able to infiltrate the Formula 1 world first. And he is right there right away. We don’t often see someone walk away with a big trophy after only 17 races.”
The 22-year-old has learned well from team-mate Lando Norris since making the step up from the role of Alpine reserve driver and was unlucky not to claim his first F1 podium before the summer break at the British Grand Prix.
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However, his first podium did come in Suzuka last month with Piastri following his team-mate over the line to record a P3 finish on his first-ever visit to the Japanese Grand Prix. The Aussie then followed up that result in even more convincing fashion in Qatar.
After clinching first place in the sprint shootout, Piastri stayed level-headed and managed the sprint race to perfection, taking his maiden F1 victory at the Lusail International Circuit. The next day, he proceeded to climb from sixth on the grid to finish second in the Grand Prix.
With just five races remaining this season, Piastri already has 83 points and two podium finishes to his name, standing clear of the rest of the midfield drivers. His performances since the summer break show that the young Aussie isn’t a star for the future, but a star of today.
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