Formula 1: McLaren boss overhypes ‘future world champion’

Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) /

McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently made some rather surprising comments regarding the potential of Oscar Piastri in Formula 1.

Oscar Piastri is only a couple of races into his young Formula 1 career, and McLaren CEO Zak Brown has very high hopes for the Australian.

Piastri is a talented driver who found plenty of success and Formula 3 and Formula 2, winning the championship in his rookie year in both.

Brown stated that Piastri is “a future world champion”, adding that “he’s very focused. He’s not really made any big mistakes.”

"“(Just the) typical exploring of the limits, so the odd lock of a wheel here and there. He’s not been to all these (circuits used so far in 2023), so early indications are we’ve got a future world champion on our hands.”"

Oscar Piastri’s performance in Formula 1 thus far should not earn him such praise.

It has been a tough start to the season for McLaren, and the 22-year-old has been the victim of a few mechanical failures which have hindered his progress.

But Piastri is failing to perform up to expectations in general. Buying out Daniel Ricciardo a year early to give this rookie a chance meant that McLaren expected a decent amount of success from him right away. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.

All things considered, Brown is overhyping Piastri with his latest remark.

His talent is evident, and it would be reasonable to say that he will have a successful career. But saying that he will be a future Formula 1 world champion based on just five races does not make much sense. It comes across as rather shocking, given the very small applicable sample size from which to analyze.

Additionally, Piastri has not done anything truly special in the MCL60 this season. He sits in 14th place in the driver standings after five races, which is not much to go by. In the past, we have seen young drivers perform quite well in cars with fairly major flaws. A recent example was George Russell in the W13 last season.

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Brown’s comments are too hopeful in the sense that Piastri has done nothing to point himself toward the path of becoming a future world champion. This only adds unnecessary pressure onto the shoulders of the rookie as well, which could hurt him more so than it encourages him. Getting too ahead of yourself in the world of sports is not the best course of action.