Australian F1 legend Mark Webber has tipped a young-gun Aussie driver to become the nation’s next Formula One star.
Oscar Piastri, 19, from Melbourne, is steadily climbing up the international racing ranks and has made a stunning debut in Formula 3 – a feeder series to F1.
His manager, nine-time F1 race winner Webber, said Piastri’s ‘sensational trajectory’ could see him racing on the Grand Prix grid ‘in a couple of years’.
‘F3 is the most intense learning he can have at his age and he’s going extraordinarily well. The goal is absolutely that he’ll race Formula One,’ Webber, who retired from F1 in 2013, told Nine.
Oscar Piastri (pictured left), 19, from Melbourne has been tipped as Australia’s next Formula One champion who could replace Australian motorsport legend Daniel Ricciardo (right)
Piastri (pictured right) has made waves in the formula racing world after ranking first in the F3 championships this year with the help of manager and former F1 racer Mark Webber (left)
Piastri claimed the prestigious Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019 and is now part of the Renault F1 team’s junior driver program.
Daniel Ricciardo – Australia’s only current F1 driver – drives for Renault but is leaving for McLaren at the end of the season.
Piastri joined the Prema Racing F3 team at the end of last year and has gone from strength to strength, taking two wins and four podiums.
He leads the championship by eight points with just two races left at Mugello in Italy this weekend.
‘It’s been an extraordinary year for him, it’s the most competitive junior category in the world, so it’s been a very special time for Oscar,’ Webber said.
‘He’s performed well above most people’s expectations, which is sensational.’
Webber said it would be hard for F1 teams to ignore the young Australian’s clear talent.
The former Red Bull driver credited Piastri’s success to the young gun’s ability to stay mature, focused and level-headed.
Piastri (pictured preparing for a race) has confirmed his intentions to graduate to the next rank of F2 racing in 2021 and eventually enter F1
Piastri has been awarded a five-place grid penalty for the final F3 race in Mugello, Italy, this weekend (Piastri pictured at Monza, Italy, on Sunday)
He said the 19-year-old’s focus would be needed at the final races this weekend.
Piastri has been awarded a five-place grid penalty for forcing another driver off the track.
The F3 driver has confirmed he intends to move to the F2 division in 2021 – the last step before F1 – and is ready to take another step up the ranks.
Webber made his Formula One debut in 2002 and was joined by fellow Australian motorsport legend Daniel Ricciardo in 2011.
Ricciardo took Webber’s Red Bull seat when he retired at the end of 2013.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Piastri for comment.
Piastri began kart racing as a 10-year-old in 2011 (pictured kart racing in his early teen years)