Timo Glock has backed Oscar Piastri to challenge Max Verstappen in future, if the Australian gets the right opportunity in Formula 1.
Piastri was one of the most successful junior formula drivers ever and that talent has shown already in 2023, from the second race in when was battling established McLaren teammate Lando Norris.
But he’s really starred in the three races before the summer break and led the Belgian Grand Prix sprint before finishing second to Max Verstappen – the same position he qualified.
“For a rookie driving for the first time in F1 at Spa-Francorchamps he was very impressive,” Sky Germany’s Glock said. “He has a great future ahead of him and has done everything well so far this season. In qualifying he is on a par with Lando Norris. He is doing it consistently and very well.
“In the future, he will definitely be someone who will convince with his talent and who can put pressure on Verstappen if given the right opportunities.”
The start of the summer break marks a year since Piastri was the biggest story in F1 for a few days, when Alpine announced him as their 2023 replacement for Fernando Alonso only for the Australian to hit back that he hadn’t signed anything with the team.
Piastri‘s decision to switch to McLaren after spending three years and winning two consecutive junior championships in the Alpine Academy seemed to be a poor one at the start of 2023.
He was the first retirement of the season just 13 laps into the season-opening Bahrain GP, while teammate Lando Norris had to stop six times to manage a hydraulics problem.
However, since Piastri received McLaren‘s upgrades at Silverstone it’s been a different story – he’s qualified in the top three of every race since bar the Belgian GP, where he was second in the sprint shootout and held that position to the chequered flag of the race.
But Glock doesn’t expect Piastri – or anyone else – to stop Verstappen any time soon. With the Dutchman just one away from Sebastian Vettel‘s record of nine consecutive grand prix victories, his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez is the only other driver to win a race in 2023.
“Verstappen will pick up where he left off after the summer break at Spa,” Glock added. “The world champion is currently at an incredibly high level and is proving that nothing, not even sixth place on the grid, can deter him.
“At the moment, there is nothing that can stop Verstappen.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.