Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo standing with a mural. Melbourne April 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo offers advice to McLaren replacement Oscar Piastri

Daniel Ricciardo told Oscar Piastri that while he’s got to soak up all the information he can, at the end of the day, he has to “just go drive”.

Piastri replaces Ricciardo at McLaren this season, with the Woking side’s insistence on signing the 21-year-old playing a part in Ricciardo’s F1 exit.

But the eldest of the two Australians clarified that he does not blame Piastriit was his own inability to get it right with McLaren that ultimately led the team to shop around.

Instead, he offers advice to the 2021 Formula 2 champion ahead of his Formula 1 debut.

“I think you just have to get out and drive,” Ricciardo advised Piastri on the Podcast Beyond the Grid. “I know that sounds like a really lazy answer, but it’s just go and drive.

“Learn, be a sponge, but drive.

“Don’t see the bar too high for yourself, if you end up doing maybe better than you thought, great, but take it race by race.

“But as long as you’re learning and feeling like you’re getting better with every race, I think that’s all you can ask for yourself.”

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The Aussie believes that while he struggled to deliver the results he and McLaren wanted, the team still learned valuable lessons with him behind the wheel.

He hopes the lessons will give Piastri “a bit of a head start”.

“I also think that even if we hadn’t been quite successful on my side, with McLaren, I think they would still have learned a lot from our two years, and maybe the things where we deviated, went a little wrong or sideways,” says Ricardo.

“So I think all of that, that knowledge can be passed on to Oscar and I think they will. I’d like to think they’ll have a bit of a head start in that regard.

If there’s one thing Piastri can do, it’s “drive”

Piastri has proven to be a prolific talent in motor racing’s junior series, winning three league titles in three seasons from 2019 to 2021.

He won the Formula Renault Eurocup in his second season, moved up to Formula 3 and won it in his first year, then did the same in Formula 2. It’s three different cars but three repeat performances.

As such there is a lot of interest in Piastri and what he can do in his first season in Formula 1. This was only added by the Alpine-McLaren fight for its services.

Alpine insisted the Australian was their driver for 2023 and even took the matter to the Formula 1 Contract Recognition Board. The CRB, however, ruled that his only valid contract was with McLaren, the The Woking team even orchestrated Ricciardo’s exit to make a seat available for Piastri.

Much-wanted doesn’t even cover it.

With all of that comes expectations, something McLaren are already trying to play down as they say their new signing will need time to find his feet, especially after his year on the sidelines.

Woking’s team urges patience but Piastri’s past results seem to suggest this isn’t really necessary – he can ‘just ride’.

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