Oscar Piastri signed off on a rookie season he was “proud” of with a sixth-place finish in Abu Dhabi, the Australian in a reflective mood after a whirlwind campaign where he finished in ninth place in the world championship.
Piastri, who came to F1® off back-to-back titles in Formula 3 and Formula 2 on the way to McLaren, took little time getting up to speed once the MCL60 became a force to be reckoned with from mid-season, finishing on the podium in Japan and Qatar and winning the Sprint race at Lusail on the night that Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen secured his third consecutive title.
The 22-year-old said a taste of success so soon into his F1® journey only made him hungry for more in 2024.
“Happy overall, but definitely some things to work on,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of highlights, a lot of moments I’ve been proud of. To have two podiums and a Sprint win in my first season, they’re proud moments, definitely.
“With how competitive the sport is at the moment, you definitely can’t take those things for granted. To have those in my first season is an honour, and hopefully we can try to make them a more regular occurrence next year.”
Piastri conceded he had higher hopes than sixth on Sunday at the Yas Marina Circuit, after a brilliant lap on Saturday night saw him line up in third on the grid, emerging at the head of a trio of cars with George Russell (Mercedes) and McLaren teammate Lando Norris separated by just 0.034secs.
Norris pushed past Piastri just four laps into Sunday’s 58-lap race, and the Australian eventually finished one place and seven seconds adrift of his teammate and 31.487secs behind race-winner Verstappen, who took his 19th victory in 22 races this season.
“We weren’t quite as strong as I hoped we would be,” he admitted.
“I struggled a little bit in the first two stints but the last stint seemed much stronger, so plenty to work on. I think it was nice just to have a clean weekend in the end, a good qualifying, and a race without any contact or things happening. Just finish the year on a strong note and have a good clean race.”
Oscar's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by the numbers
- Qualified: 3rd
- Race: 6th
- Fastest lap: 1min 28.138secs (5th), lap 38
- Points this event: 8
- Points this season: 97 (9th in world championship)