Oscar Piastri has signed a contract extension with McLaren Racing until the end of the 2026 season.
It’s been an impressive rookie season for the Australian driver, who has faired well against his team-mate Lando Norris, something that isn’t an easy feat for anyone on the grid.
After a challenging start to the season for McLaren, they were able to turn their fortunes around following a set of upgrades to their car from the British Grand Prix.
At Silverstone, Piastri was able to claim a third-place finish in qualifying, ending the race in fourth after being caught out by a safety car, allowing Lewis Hamilton to jump him in the pit stops.
In Belgium, he would qualify on the front row for the Sprint race, only 0.011 seconds behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, his best qualifying performance to date.
After taking a season away from on-track action to become Alpine’s Formula One Reserve Driver. However, despite being confirmed as an Alpine driver for the 2023 season, he dramatically announced via ‘X’ (then Twitter) that he would not be racing for the team following a press release being sent out without his agreement stating that he would. This came about following news that Fernando Alonso would leave the team and join Aston Martin.
He would later be announced as a McLaren driver following the FIA Contract Recognition Board ruling against Alpine, with Piastri’s McLaren deal being signed in July 2022, one day after the British Grand Prix. He replaced fellow Australian, Daniel Ricciardo, at the team.
Piastri’s racing CV is one that shows a talented driver rising quickly through the ranks and achieving the dream end goal of racing in Formula One. In 2017 he finished as Vice-Champion of the British Formula 4 Championship, and at his second attempt won the Formula Renault Eurocup.
2020 would see Piastri win the FIA Formula 3 Championship, moving up to the FIA Formula 2 Championship for 2021, which he won at his first attempt. As per competition rules, he was umable to remain in the Championship the following year.
Speaking about the announcement, Piastri states that he wants to be fighting it out at the front of the grid.
“I am thrilled to be extending my partnership with McLaren for many years. 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.
“The welcome that I have received and the relationships that I have built make this feel like home already. The team’s consistent commitment in me has made me feel incredibly valued and the desire from the team for me to be part of its long-term future made this an easy decision. To be wanted like that and for the team to show so much belief in me after just half a season, means a lot.
“Ever since the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test last year, I feel a real part of all things papaya and my thanks go to everyone in and around the team as well as all the fans.
“Stability is a huge advantage in this early part of my career and to have that with a brand as prestigious as McLaren gives me the opportunity to continue the work that we’ve started.
“We’ve enjoyed some good moments together in my rookie season, but I’m excited to work together with everyone at MTC over the coming years to create some great moments.”
Andrea Stella, Team Principal praised Piastri for being a pivotal part of the McLaren set-up.
“It’s fantastic to confirm that Oscar has signed a multi-year extension with the team. Oscar is an asset to McLaren and constantly impresses with his performance, work ethic and attitude, so it was an easy decision for the team to make. He has already proved pivotal to the team, so it’s brilliant to have his vote of confidence as we push to win championships again in the future. I look forward to seeing him develop with us as we continue this journey together.”
Finally, Zak Brown, CEO is excited to see Piastri to continue to grow in papaya.
“I’m delighted to be continuing our partnership with Oscar through to the end of 2026. He’s an incredible talent and an asset to the team so it’s fantastic to be committing to each other in the long term. Oscar is already proving what he can do out on track and has been instrumental in the turnaround we’ve had so far this season. He’s fit into the team brilliantly and is really valued by the whole McLaren Racing family. I’m excited to see how he continues to grow both on and off track.”