Australian racer Oscar Piastri wrapped up the F3 Championship at Mugello, and he has caught the attention of compatriot Daniel Ricciardo.
The battle for the 2020 title went all the way down to the final F3 race of the season, and with Logan Sargeant crashing out early on in Race 2, it was then a straight fight between 19-year-old Piastri and Théo Pourchaire.
Ultimately a run of four consecutive podiums in the final races of the season brought Pourchaire right into contention for the title, but P7 for Piastri in the second Mugello race was enough to see him take the title by three points.
Piastri is managed by ex-F1 driver Mark Webber, and also is a member of the Renault young driver programme, the team which Ricciardo will depart at the end of this season.
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But he is keeping a close eye on Piastri who he first met at Enstone earlier this year, and Ricciardo can see a bright future ahead for the youngster.
“It’s really, really cool to see,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I only met Oscar in the off-season. We were both at Enstone together, so I got to meet him. As a person he seems like a good kid, head screwed on, pretty low maintenance. I’d say pretty chilled.
“On track I was certainly impressed with his race craft this year. In Monza he made some well-timed moves and didn’t seem to get too flustered. I think even after qualifying [at Mugello], which was a disaster for his standards, he kept cool in the race, and didn’t let it get away.
“So I think he dealt with the pressure relatively well, and he’s still young, so also don’t expect him to be perfect yet. But I’m really, really happy for him.
“It’s cool to see some Aussies back in there. There was a chunk in F3 this year, I think four of them. So awesome that one could win.
“I know Mark has been looking after him a little bit, and I’m sure giving him some guidance. So you can see it’s paid off. So I’m very happy for Oscar.”
F3 CHAMPION! 🏆#TuscanGP 🇮🇹 #Mugello #F3 @fiaformula3 | @prema_team | @renaultf1team | @hptuners | @vcmperformance | flash diesel | melbourne malibu | @jamsportsmgmt pic.twitter.com/YKM8tYim3c
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) September 13, 2020
After winning the title with Prema, Piastri will now have his eyes set on following in the footsteps of 2019 F3 Champion Robert Shwartzman who graduated to F2 with Prema.
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