Oscar Piastri; McLaren’s Australian Wonderkid Taking Formula 1 By Storm

The next big Australian thing.

Oscar Piastri; McLaren’s Australian Wonderkid Taking Formula 1 By Storm

Image: Getty

Oscar Piastri is an Australian driver who currently races for McLaren in Formula 1. Since making his debut in F1 this season, the young rookie has excelled with his new team, consistently finishing in the points and even notching his first win ahead of his new teammate.

Since making his Formula 1 debut this year with McLaren, Oscar Piastri has been a name on everyone’s lips, delivering stellar performances for his new team, consistently finding himself in the points, on the podium and even, beating World Champions.

Aged just 22, Piastri has a huge career in F1 ahead of him; here we take a look at his path to Formula 1 and what he can expect from a long career in the sport.

Oscar Piastri Quick Facts

Name:Oscar Piastri
DoB:6 April 2001
Height:5 ft 8 in / 178cm
Net Worth:$1.5 million (estimated)
Salary$2,000,000 (McLaren – 2023)
Instagram:@oscarpiastri – 1.4m followers
Partner / GirlfriendLily Zneimer

Who is Oscar Piastri?

Born on April 6th 2001, Oscar Piastri is an Australian racing driver who races for McLaren in Formula 1. The Melbourne-born driver began his racing career in karting in 2011, aged just 10 years old, following a stint racing remote-controlled cars at a national level.

Showing serious talent soon after entering karting, Oscar Piastri competed in a number of Australian karting championships in 2014 before moving into larger, European championships.

He finished sixth in the 2016 World Championship karting season.

Formula 4 Championship

After karting, Oscar Piastri moved into Formula 4, where he finished runner-up in the 2017 season, and moved up again to Formula Renault Eurocup in 2018, winning the Championship in 2019 during his second season.

Formula 3 Championship

Later in 2019, Oscar Piastri moved into Formula 3 for post-season testing, before making his debut with Prema Racing for the 2020 season. After a tense Championship battle with his teammates and other title rivals, Piastri won the Formula 3 Driver’s Championship.

Formula 2 Championship

Oscar Piastri moved into Formula 2 at the end of the 2020 season, replacing Mick Schumacher who had made the step up to Formula 1 to join the Haas F1 team. Piastri once again proved his talent, winning the Formula 2 Championship in his debut season and joining an exclusive list of drivers that includes Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hülkenberg to do so as rookies.

Piastri is the first rookie driver to win three consecutive F1 feeder series championships: Formula Renault Eurocup, Formula 3 and Formula 2.

Oscar Piastri Formula 1

Oscar Piastri joined the Renault Sport Academy in January 2020 and competed in a driver test in Bahrain in October later that year. Piastri stayed with Renault when it was rebranded to Alpine and following his Formula 2 title victory, Piastri was appointed Alpine’s reserve driver for the 2022 season.

He was also made available as a reserve driver for McLaren following an agreement between the two teams.

Oscar Piastri joins McLaren

Following much speculation about his future in Formula 1, Oscar Piastri was announced as the second driver for the McLaren F1 team, lining up alongside British driver Lando Norris for the 2023 season, replacing the outgoing Daniel Ricciardo.

The announcement came after much tussle within Formula 1, and the McLaren and Alpine teams in particular. The trouble started when Sebastian Vettel announced his shock retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season, with Alpine driver Fernando Alonso announcing he was leaving to replace Vettel at Aston Martin, leaving his seat at Alpine available.

It seemed inevitable then, that Oscar Piastri would step up into the vacant Alpine seat and earn his first full-time drive in Formula 1; Alpine even announced the news on social media that Oscar Piastri would be replacing Fernando Alonso for the 2023 season, although the Australian driver denied any knowledge of the deal and claimed nothing had been finalised.

This is when McLaren, who was left with big Australian shoe(y)s to fill following the conclusion of Daniel Ricciardo’s contract, swooped in.

Piastri made his debut for McLaren at the Bahrain Grand Prix wearing number 81 and has enjoyed a strong rookie season with his new team.

Thrust into the spotlight after a tumultuous introduction to life at McLaren, Piastri seemingly took it all in his stride, showing composure beyond his years to score his first points for his new team just three races into his debut F1 season.

Oscar Piastri British Grand Prix 2023

It was a season that started on typically uneven ground, but Piastri managed to perform above expectations with a temperamental MCL60.

“At the start of the season, I had some good moments, but now, Austin excluded, I’m starting to put it together a bit more. I think that’s probably been the biggest difference.”

The young Australian found himself in the points early on, and would later achieve a career-high finish of P4 at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix in July 2023, narrowly missing out on his first podium in Formula 1.

Oscar Piastri’s First Win in F1

Image: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

During the Qatar Grand Prix, Oscar Piastri was elated to cross the line for his first-ever win in Formula 1 during his rookie season.

The young Australian driver managed to finish ahead of three-time World Champion Max Verstappen, whose third consecutive title was confirmed in the Sprint and even managed to take his first win in the sport before his McLaren teammate, Lando Norris.

“I’m very happy. It was a very stressful race,” Piastri said. “When I saw all the soft [tyre] guys come through at the start, I thought we were in a bit of trouble, but then their tyres fell off pretty quickly – that was good.”

Oscar Piastri Contract

Oscar Piastri secured his long-term future with McLaren in September 2023, penning a two-year contract extension on his current deal that will keep the Australian rookie on the Formula 1 grid until 2026.

“I am thrilled to be extending my partnership with McLaren for many years,” Piastri said. “I want to be fighting it out at the front of the grid with this team and I am excited by the vision and foundations that are already being laid to get us there.”

It’s currently unclear what Oscar Piastri’s new contract is worth.

Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo

Australia’s very own F1 champ, the charismatic Daniel Ricciardo, has had mixed results in recent years year, with many speculating that Ricciardo’s best days are behind him.

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However, those mourning the potential demise of the Honey Badger need not despair, as it was only back in 2020 that we started to see the stratospheric rise of Oscar Piastri who’s already being touted as the next Ricciardo – and not only because he too has an Italian background.

Piastri and Ricciardo even had the chance to meet in April 2020, the young gun saying: “I hope I can represent Australia as well as he and Mark Webber have!”

Piastri’s debut season in Formula 1 came at the cost of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren seat, with Australia’s favourite son replaced ahead of the 2023 season. After half a season as Red Bull’s reserve driver, Ricciardo was loaned to Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri for the remainder of the season.

Oscar Piastri’s Net Worth

Oscar Piastri’s current net worth is an estimated US$1.5 million. However, his annual salary at Mclaren is estimated to be $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD) per annum.

Oscar Piastri’s Salary

His annual salary at Mclaren is estimated to be $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD) per annum, which is a fraction of his McLaren teammate Lando Norris’ $20 million USD (~$30.9 million AUD) annual salary.

Oscar Piastri’s Girlfriend

Oscar Piastri is believed to be dating Lily Zneimer, after he was pictured with her at the Autosport Awards in February 2022, where he also picked up the publication’s Rookie of the Year Award for 2021. Not much is known about Oscar’s girlfriend, however, as he makes sure to keep her identity private.

Lily Zneimer has reportedly been Oscar Piastri’s girlfriend for more than four years.