Formula 3 Champion Oscar Piastri was on work experience with Renault at the Turkish F1 Grand Prix, although the Australian’s weekend involved a bit more than just making cups of coffee, saying that “I was pretty busy the whole time.”
The Renault junior was handed the opportunity as a reward for his success in the third tier this season, with the French Formula 1 team offering him a valuable insight into how they operate on a Grand Prix weekend.
Piastri was involved in team briefings, technical meetings and the team’s media duties, and he admitted that he was a little taken aback by just how much went into each round behind the scenes.
“Driving is probably the thing that they do the least of during a weekend,” said the PREMA racer. “I can only imagine what it would be like with fans there as well.
“It was interesting to see how Daniel (Ricciardo) and Esteban (Ocon) were running through the car and explaining what they wanted to change. I was also able to chat with some of the engineers and people who are higher up at Renault and ask them why they made decisions and why they made certain moves.
“I talked quite a lot to the Sporting Director, Alan Permane, and Marcin Budkowski, who is the Executive Director, which was really useful. I got to speak to Daniel and Esteban loads too, which was really cool. Esteban drove for PREMA in European F3, so we shared some PREMA stories and obviously Daniel is Australian, so we had quite a few things in common.”
Piastri won twice and took four further podiums on his way to the F3 title in 2020 with the Italian team, whilst also finding fame through his light-hearted sense of humour on social media.
Similarly, but on a larger scale, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo is known for his larger than life personality on a race weekend and Piastri said that the positive effect it had on the team was obvious to see.
The 19-year-old pin-pointed this as one of many positives that he would be able to take away from the experience and apply to his own career.
“Obviously, it is quite a big step-up from F3 and there are a lot more personnel involved,” he continued. “But even so, listening to Daniel and Esteban's feedback and the way in which they relay their thoughts to the engineers and how they work with everyone, is certainly something that I will be able bring to F2.
“The character and energy that Daniel brings to the whole team is inspiring. It really did make a big difference to the atmosphere and the way that the team worked.
“In general, it was just was very interesting. It was an awesome insight into how many different aspects of F1 there are and how much needs to go right for a weekend to go well, as well as how many different things can go wrong.”
Piastri remained coy on his own plans for the new season. He has already confirmed his intention to step up to F2, but is yet to announce where, only saying that “things are going well.”