Oscar Piastri was born to Chris Piastri and Nicole Piastri in Melbourne, Australia, on 6 April 2001. He will be racing for McLaren in the 2023 Formula One Championship. Having begun karting as a ten-year-old, he competed in European karting competitions. In 2016, he started competing in Formula 4 championships.
Oscar Piastri was racing remote cars on the national level before he took to karting in 2011. His father, being a racing enthusiast, used to ferry him to and fro to his race venues. Till 2014 he took part in national championships in Australia. Piastri began competing in European and other CIK-FIA karting championships with Ricky Flynn Motorsport the next year. He moved to London in 2016 and finished sixth in the 2016 World Championship in Bahrain.
HP Tuners, a company owned by Piastri’s father, sponsored Piastri in 2016. The company helped fund Piastri’s racing career. HP Tuner’s logo was displayed on Piastri’s racing suit and car when competing in GP3, Series, F3 and F2 seasons. Piastri competed in select rounds of the 2016 Formula 4 UAE Championship winning two podiums and finishing sixth in the championship.
TRS Arden Junior Racing Team contracted Piastri in 2017 as a part of its team for the British F4 Championship. Winning six races and finishing in the pole position, Piastri finished runner-up in the championship to Jamie Caroline. Christian Homer, the Principal of Red Bull Racing, was impressed and revealed how he missed a chance to recruit Piastri to their junior team during his Formula 4 years.
Piastri took part in the post-season GP3 test at Yas Marina with Trident in December 2018.
Piastri joined Arden in 2018 and made his debut in Formula Renault Eurocup Championship. He claimed three podium finishes, the highest being second at second race at Hockenheim. That season he finished ninth in the championship.
In December 2018, Piastri switched his allegiance to R-ace GP. It was announced that he would race for R-ace GP for the 2019 championship. His first two series victories came at Silverstone. Winning at Francorchamps, he became the first driver to claim three wins that year. A couple of wins at the season-ending round at Yas Marina earned him the championship.
Piastri, in October 2019, took a post-season test with Prema Racing in a bid to race in Formula 3 in the upcoming season. In January, Prema Racing signed Piastri to race alongside Logan Sargeant and Fredrik Vesti.
On his debut, Piastri was placed third on the starting grid at the Red Bull Ring. Despite a collision with Sebastián Fernández, he escaped damage and went on to win the race. He took three consecutive second-place finishes at Hungaroring and the feature race at Silverstone before a stuck open DRS forced him to withdraw in the sprint race. Sargeant grabbed the lead of the championship from Piastri in the second feature race at Silverstone when Piastri was struggling with reliability issues. Piastri claimed his second win in Barcelona, where he started fifth in the sprint but took the lead in the first lap and held on to it. Piastri regained the championship lead, finishing fifth in the feature race, but lost it in the sprint race as he was penalised for illegal overtaking.
Piastri was penalized at Monza and started 15th for the feature race. Yet he took third place in the race to reclaim the championship lead. He retired from the sprint due to a collision but was penalised 5 points but still maintained his championship lead as his teammates had a collision.
At the Mugello Circuit, Piastri finished 11th in the feature race as Sargeant finished sixth leaving both drivers tied at 160 points in the championship. In the sprint race, Sargeant started six places ahead of Piastri but was eliminated due to a collision. The championship was there for the taking and Piastri gleefully took it.
In 2020, a departing Mick Schumacher made way for Piastri to race with Robert Shwartzman at Prema Racing in the 2021Formula 2 Championship season. Piastri ended his debut race in fifth position to earn his first championship points. In the second, he started in sixth position but overtook several cars to sit in second place. He overtook Zhou Guanyu of Alpine in the last lap to win the race, earning his first Formula 2 win. Piastri started the feature race in eighth place but overtook several cars to take the lead in lap 13. However, he was forced to retire after making contact and spinning with two laps to go. Two consecutive second places at the Monaco round ensured Piastri of second place in the championship standings behind Zhou.
Piastri retired in the sprint race in Baku but finished the second feature race in second place. A pole position at Silverstone and a sixth-place finish in the second sprint ensured him the lead in the championship. A feature race win at Monza, Piastri’s first of the season, a pole position, another win and pole at Sochi, consolidated his championship lead. Finishing first in the second sprint in Jeddah and leading when the feature race was called off, Piastri became only the second driver to win twice on the same day that season. A win in the first race at Yas Marina ensured that Piastri became only the third driver to win the Formula 2 Championship in his debut season. A win in the feature race meant that he was the only driver to win six races that season.
Piastri joined Renault Sports Academy in January 2020. He drove a Renault R.S.18 in his first Formula One test with the Renault F1 Team at the Bahrain International Circuit. Being a part of the Alpine Academy, he also drove an Alpine 521 in the post-season young drivers’ test at the Yas Marina Circuit in December 2021.
Following his Formula 2 Championship win, Alpine F1 Team designated the Australian as a reserve driver for the 2022 season. Following an agreement between the two teams, McLaren also shared Piastri as a reserve driver with the Alpine F1 Team. Piastri participated in Alpine testing sessions throughout the season. He also participated in a two-day testing session in a previous-spec McLaren car at Circuit Paul Ricard. Piastri was ready to compete in Formula One.
There was a June 22 report stating that Piastri would race for Williams in 2023. Alpine was expected to retain Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. Alonso left Alpine in a lurch in August when he announced that he was going to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin. Alpine promptly announced that Piastri would take the place of Alonso. Piastri disputed the claim in a Twitter quote saying that he had no signed contract with Alpine. The Alpine team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, thereupon questioned Piastri’s “integrity as a human being” and threatened to take the contract matters to court.
FIA’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB) commenced hearing on 29 August 22. The purpose was to determine whether Piastri was contracted to Alpine or was free to join another team of his choice for the 2023 season. The CRB ruled in Piastri’s favour prior to the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, leaving him free to join any team of his choice. Piastri’s move to McLaren was confirmed shortly afterwards. Piastri later said a “breakdown in trust” between him and Alpine led him to leave the team.
Alpine agreed to end the Australian’s contract which enabled Piastri to join McLaren for the post-season testing session immediately after the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Piastri had a rapid rise in his racing career and it will be interesting to follow his career from here on forward.