Australian Formula 1 great Mark Webber believes that Oscar Piastri could be the next big thing in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Currently leading the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Piastri has had a golden run over the past few years, having won the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019 and the FIA Formula 3 Championship last year.
The Melburnian’s form was rewarded early last year with the opportunity to join the Alpine (formerly Renault) Academy, as well as the chance to test one of the team’s Formula 1 cars.
Joining the likes of Chinese young gun Guanyu Zhou and Danish driver Christian Lundgaard, the 20-year-old has gone to another level in 2021 despite being a Formula 2 rookie.
Teamed up with Italian outfit Prema Racing once again, Piastri has picked up four podiums, two pole positions and two race wins this year – his most recent victory coming during the feature race at the Italian Grand Prix where he led from start to finish.
Speaking with Greg Rust via Zoom for Motorsport Australia, Formula 1 race winner Webber indicated that it was only a matter of time before Piastri was up against the world’s best.
“He has had an extraordinary career up to this point. He’s very level-headed and mature and the Australian people would be proud of him,” Webber said.
"First years in F2 is generally very hard for rookies to come in and do well, just the way the cars and the tyres are makes it hard to understand, but he’s just come in and has done very well. He’s getting top results.
“He’s obviously contracted with Alpine. They own him and they know they have a red-hot talent. He’s the best academy driver they have had, probably ever.
“They have some good guys in their stable but they know Oscar is one for F1 and would be capable of handling F1 in the future.
“It’s in their hands, they know he’s putting pressure on them and it’s a good problem to have.”
In addition to Piastri, the duo also discussed Motorsport Australia’s new partnership with Maxwell Plus - an Al based diagnostic platform for prostate cancer focused on making sure men can get tested easily and properly.
As an ambassador and test subject himself, Webber was full of praise for the company and believed they had changed the game in testing for prostate cancer.
“It (prostate cancer) is a massive problem in Australia, 300 men die in Australia every year and now testing is easier than it’s ever been,” Webber explained.
“Maxwell Plus does the prostate diagnosis and it’s moved on from the old invasive tests that used to be in play. It’s now pathology and a very simple blood test and the accuracy is just off the charts.
“Maxwell Plus just want to make sure that no man is diagnosed too late. It’s 90 per cent curable but if you get it late, the stats are horrendous and there is nothing good about it. It’s a really tough cancer to have and deadly.
“The test was simple, quick and painless. All I needed was the blood test and now I have complete peace of mind.”
Together with Maxwell Plus
, Motorsport Australia will subsidise part of the costs of Motorsport Australia members' and licence holder’s tests with Maxwell Plus, meaning they can take part in the non-invasive test, which could save a life.
Click here to access the Motorsport Australia Offer.
Motorsport Australia members can use code ‘motor21’ to access the testing or if they prefer, speak with their own doctor during prostate cancer awareness month to determine their risks.