Oscar Piastri says getting up and running with McLaren across the final stages of the year has proven a “massive help” ahead of his Formula 1 debut.
A deal was reached between Alpine and McLaren in order to allow the Australian to link up early with his new team.
Piastri made his first public appearance in McLaren colours in Abu Dhabi, participating in the young driver test, where he got behind the wheel of the MCL36.
That came in-between private runs in the 2021-spec MCL35M at Paul Ricard and Barcelona, the latter of which was carried out across two days earlier this week.
“It was good to get back into the swing of things with some race-specific stuff,” said Piastri, who has not raced since the 2021 Formula 2 finale last December.
“We covered a lot of things, and I feel like I am making some good progress. We revisited some old topics that I haven’t had the chance to explore for a while, and I learned quite a lot about different driving techniques.
“Being able to work with the engineers and the race team that I will be working with next year is a massive help. It is really useful to start that relationship.
“Now that I have got a seat and will definitely be going back racing, we can focus on a few of the specifics of a race that I wouldn’t normally do in testing – there has been more focus on that because the season is coming around quickly.”
Piastri will be engineered at McLaren by the experienced Tom Stallard.
“He is incredibly calm all of the time,” said Stallard of Piastri. “He is very calm, very mature and very unfazed.
“Oscar is also very adaptable, and it is very impressive how he has been able to modulate his inputs and adjust his braking and turning to get the best out of the car.
“He has made a lot of progress, and I think he now understands very clearly what the car needs. He has been able to deliver that very effectively, and we are very excited by that.”