Winning two titles in as many years, Oscar Piastri has enjoyed remarkable success in the past two seasons, but where do those achievements rank amongst the most important moments of his career to date?
We spoke with the PREMA driver, who picked out the three moments that made him.
1. MOVING TO EUROPE
“Going in chronological order, moving to Europe would be the first real moment. You can’t exactly race F2 from Australia… That was a big change for me - moving out at 14-years-old and going off to school outside of Australia – but it was a necessary step to take in order to get to F1. I moved to Hertford in the UK, and I think that I grew a lot because of it.
“Thankfully, I wasn't completely on my own because I went to boarding school with a lot of people my own age, but I was away from my family in a different country and that was pretty tough. It was tough in the sense that I was leaving everything behind, like my family and my friends.
“I had been to Europe before and I had been to England before, so it wasn't completely new, plus, out of all of the countries that I could have gone to, it is by far the most similar to Australia, which helped. The distance from everyone at home was the biggest challenge, but going to a boarding school was a really good decision in terms of getting myself integrated with local people and having things to do between races.”
2. WINNING FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP IN 2019
“On the final weekend, I knew that I had to beat Victor Martins in at least one of the races. I think the points gap was 13 and a half points. If Victor won both races and I finished second, then I would have lost by half a point. I think that he was probably a bit quicker that weekend, but I managed to jump him at the start of the first race and hold on for the win, which was enough.
“At that point of my career, that was probably the most pressure that I had ever been under, so to come out of that and be able to win the title was a massive confidence boost and helped for what is going to be moment three.”
3. WINNING THE FORMULA 3 TITLE AT MUGELLO IN 2020
“There was even more pressure on me in Mugello last year, than in Formula Renault. That was the most intense weekend that I have had to date. It was very up and down – mostly down in terms of actual race results, but obviously up because of the title win.
“Even the weekend before in Monza was high pressured and quite controversial. Me and Logan (Sargeant) arrived in Mugello with grid penalties, and then Logan and Frederik (Vesti) crashed in one of the races at Mugello, so tensions were high.
“Going into the final race, I was level on points with logan, but starting in a far worse position. It was a bit lucky for me that he didn’t finish the races, but I still had to hold my nerve and manage the points gap to (Théo) Pourchaire. Coming out of that as champion was definitely a moment that has made me.
“I can still improve and handle that even better, though. But being able to do enough to come out victorious both times has been a real confidence boost. Whenever I am in a situation like that in my life, not just in racing, but any high-pressure situation, I have always got those two moments to fall back on.”