Step into the world of Formula 1 as we go behind the scenes with rising star Oscar Piastri. With seven races under his belt in his debut season so far, Oscar is living out his childhood dream. From watching the Grand Prix as a young boy in Melbourne to now racing on iconic tracks and competing against the best, Oscar’s passion for racing shines through. In this exclusive interview, Oscar reveals the unexpected twists and turns of life in F1, the intensity of race day preparations, and his most favourite moments on the track thus far. Now, lights out and away you go, immerse yourself in Oscar’s Formula 1 journey!
You’ve now got 7 races under your belt. How are you finding your debut Formula 1 season?
I’m absolutely loving it. Ever since I was a little kid, when I used to watch a lot of the Grand Prix on repeat the next day after school due to the time difference in Melbourne, this has been my dream. It’s an awesome feeling to take on iconic tracks and test yourself against the best.
I just love racing too. I found last year hard not competing in my capacity as a reserve driver but the start of this season has just reminded me how much I love the competition. Racing is what it is all about for me. I can remember I used to listen to the noise of the engines from my back garden when the Melbourne Grand Prix was going on, so to be part of it all now is amazing.
Has there been anything that has surprised you about life in F1?
Nothing has surprised me in particular. The F1 cars are obviously faster than the cars I used to drive in F2 and F3 so there is the obvious difference in speed and g-force in corners but that is something that I expected and have trained for.
I got an insight into the media and marketing commitments last year but I’d say those are the biggest adjustments as there is a lot more attention and demands on an F1 driver’s time and so, it is just about building those into your schedule around the driving.
What does it feel like when the lights are about to go green?
There is obviously a lot of adrenaline, and the heart rate goes up, but it is a moment when I think it is important to stay calm and think clearly. There are obviously a lot of things going on so I need that peak focus and concentration. I try to just keep a clear head and focus on the controllable.
I love the racing so it’s a moment that I look forward to. When the visor goes down, it’s the moment when business begins.
What are those final few hours of prep like on a race day?
I am always pretty chilled. I’m not one for music and prefer to just rest and gather my thoughts. I’ll obviously chat with my engineers about the race and the strategy we have and I’ll do my warm-up routine to get the body ready and get the blood circulating.
A few hours before, I also have my main meal to get the right fuel on board for the race and to give me the energy I need.
If you had to pinpoint your favourite moment so far, what would it be?
It has to be Melbourne. I drove around Albert Park with you guys earlier in the year and we spoke about what it would be like returning as an F1 driver. It was that and more - a special few days indeed. Having grown up so close to the track, it was an unbelievable feeling to be racing there.
The atmosphere and reception I received were insane. Every day on the Melbourne Walk where the drivers enter the F1 paddock, it was lined with fans wanting autographs and pictures and I got truly amazing support.
I remember when I visited the Quad Lock Box in the fan park, there were just rows and rows of people there which was phenomenal.
Also, you gave me some chocolate there as an early birthday present so that rounded off the weekend nicely.
You’ve travelled a fair bit already this season, what’s been the standout destination?
Apart from Melbourne, Miami was a really cool and interesting place. I’m a very relaxed person and I like the vibe there – it’s very chilled and there are some great places for food. It was the second time that I’ve visited and I’ve enjoyed both trips.
Monaco was up there too. I’ve raced there before but taking on the streets in an F1 car is different. That place has got so much history and heritage and it’s such a prestigious race.
What are the essential items that you always pack on your travels?
Apart from clothes and shoes, I have a few things that I always take to races. You may have seen me enter the paddock with a roller. This is just to help with my warm-up routine. I usually have a stash of vitamins and supplements to put in my driver's room. I also always take my laptop and tablet to watch some films or TV in the downtime I have. I’ve got all my Quad Lock chargers in there too and usually put everything on charge at night as the days at the track can be long and draining on the phone battery. I will admit that I am usually a last-minute packer and the suitcase can sometimes stay flung open on the floor in my apartment for a while.
Is there a specific track you can’t wait to take on?
Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium is a track that I can’t want to drive around in an F1 car. It’s an old-school track with some fast and flowing sections and a real test for a driver. Las Vegas should also be pretty interesting. It will be the first time F1 has been there but I’m hearing that it could be a cool track to drive. The energy for the sport in the US at the moment is crazy and so it will be fun to see what Vegas has in store.
What do the next few months look like?
It’s a busy few months ahead. There are five races before the F1 summer break with some of the classic tracks like Silverstone, Spa and Montreal so, lots to look forward to.
The races keep on coming which I’m not complaining about so we should have plenty to chat about when we next catch up.