Piastri reputation at stake in 2023 – Eng

Oscar Piastri’s first year on the Formula 1 grid will be critical for his stellar reputation.

That is the view of Austrian racing driver Phillip Eng, although Alpine chief Otmar Szafnauer thinks rookie Piastri’s most recent reputation is that of a disloyal junior.

“Species that cooperate survive,” Szafnauer is quoted as saying. “Species that are selfish go extinct.

“In the future, we will treasure these lessons and make sure that we eliminate the loopholes that allowed Oscar to get out of the contract we thought we had with him.”

Indeed, the Mark Webber-managed 21-year-old Piastri escaped his development deal at Alpine to instead become highly-rated Lando Norris’ McLaren teammate in 2023.

It will be a critical test for the young Australian, Eng told Servus TV.

“Piastri has a lot of early praise, and when you look at how he went through the junior categories it was like a hot knife through butter,” he said.

But with the Alpine saga also attached to Piastri, DTM and works BMW sports car driver Eng thinks 2023 will be a critical test for the McLaren rookie.

“The mental pressure is enormous,” he said. “Everyone is talking about him.

“He has to show strength, because he’s dealing with Lando Norris at McLaren. I see the situation like this – if Piastri can hold his own against Norris in the first year, then everyone will know what Oscar is made of.

“But if things don’t go so well against Norris, it will be difficult for Piastri to maintain his great reputation.”

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