Oscar Piastri insists he does not regret signing for McLaren.
The 21-year-old arrived on the Formula 1 grid this year as one of the most highly rated rookies in recent memory.
In fact, last season, his 2023 debut was the subject of a legal scuffle for his services between Alpine, where he was a development driver, and McLaren.
But Australian Piastri said deciding to take up McLaren’s offer was actually easy.
“I didn’t have to decide which of the two teams to drive for,” he insisted in Saudi Arabia. “It was obvious to me that I wanted to drive for McLaren.
“They showed a great desire to get me, which became a very, very serious factor for me,” Piastri added. “So now there is no question of whether I regret it or not.”
Piastri might, however, be forgiven for having some regrets, given the situation at McLaren – which some in the media are already calling a “crisis”.
“Everyone makes it sound a lot worse than it is,” Piastri’s teammate Lando Norris, who is already being linked with a team move for 2024, said.
“Calling it crisis? It’s far from that. Nothing close to it.”
However, Renault-owned Alpine – the team Piastri could easily have raced for in 2023 – seems to have perhaps the strongest car in Jeddah behind Red Bull and Aston Martin.
But Piastri says he isn’t looking wistfully down pitlane.
“I am fully focused on my current work in trying to help the team move forward to the positions we want to be in,” he said.
“Obviously we’re not satisfied with the current level of competitiveness, but the team is not hiding that. We have a development plan and we will try to catch up with the top three or four teams.”