It’s time to get used to seeing Oscar Piastri’s helmet in a Formula One car.
He has taken his first step towards a grand prix race seat and everything points to a ‘when’ and not ‘if’ future for the talented young Melbournian.
Renault plugged Piastri into one of its superseded F1 racers for a full day of testing at Abu Dhabi as it assesses its Junior Academy drivers for their next step in top-level motorsport.
“That was pretty crazy – the Renault F1 car certainly lived up to the excitement,” Piastri said.
He was given a whole day to himself in the car as a reward for his recent win in the FIA Formula 3 championship, a victory that was shared at Mugello in Italy with his manager Mark Webber.
Piastri shared the car with Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou, the Renault Academy juniors who are competing in Formula 2 this year.
There was some early talk that Piastri might be given an early graduation to F2 in the closing races this year, but it now appears he will be inserted into a top-class outfit for an early title tilt in 2021.
Right now, 19-year old is celebrating the completion of a boyhood dream with close to 500 kilometres of testing at the Sakhir International Circuit.
“I was a little bit nervous beforehand, which is pretty normal, but after the first lap I got over that and focussed on driving fast and having fun. I think I adapted quite well and got up to speed reasonably quickly,” he said.
“I really enjoyed the day, so a massive thank you to Renault for this opportunity. I’m feeling very lucky to drive an F1 car, not everyone gets to do it, so a massive thanks to them.”