Piastri predicts midfield for McLaren after difficult testing

The Australian is set to make his F1 debut at the Bahrain GP.

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McLaren rookie driver Oscar Piastri has said he expects the team to be somewhere in the midfield for the 2023 F1 season after testing showed they were some way off the pace of the leaders.

Piastri replaced fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo as Lando Norris’ teammate at the Woking-based team for this season after he opted not to take up a seat with Alpine.

The former F2 and F3 champion is now gearing up for his F1 debut at the season opening Bahrain GP, and he said that he expects the car to compete somewhere in the midfield after a less-than-ideal start to the year in testing.

“Obviously, the test wasn’t the smoothest, but I think we will get a better understanding of where we are at come tomorrow,” Piastri told media ahead of the race weekend.

“I think we are somewhere in the midfield, and we will see where we are come Saturday night.”

Special Feeling

“It’s been 12 years since I started racing, so everything up until that point has led to now,” said Piastri.

“So, to be calling myself a Formula 1 driver and preparing for my first race is a special feeling, definitely.”

“I think having that year out, I definitely gained a newfound appreciation for how much I enjoy going racing.

“Even in the bad times, it’s still better to have those bad times than to have no times at all. I think I’ve come back with probably more hunger, I would say, than previously and now that we are here on the grid, it’s just a great feeling.”

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