Webber to manage new Renault junior Piastri

Rachit Thukral
motorsport.com

Rising Australian star Piastri won the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup title in his second year in the category, beating France’s Victor Martins in a close fight for the championship honours.

He was recently added to the Renault Sport Academy and will step up to the FIA Formula 3 series this year with Prema Racing.

Webber played a key role in Piastri earning a position on Renault’s driver development programme, having himself scored all nine of his F1 race wins in Renault-powered Red Bull cars.

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The 43-year-old will now guide Piastri in his quest to become Australia’s first F1 debutant since Daniel Ricciardo, who replaced Webber at Red Bull and currently drives for Renault.

Webber’s wife Ann and Jam Sports Management’s CEO Jason Allen will look after commercial opportunities for Piastri.

“Oscar is an impressive young man. I’ve enjoyed watching him continue his education and do the normal things kids his age do while dovetailing it with his racing – the level of self-discipline and dedication he has shown is admirable,” Webber said.

“What Oscar managed to do last year in Formula Renault was also pretty special, how he took control of the championship and closed the title out.

“He’s got that white line fever when he puts his helmet on and turns into a different character, which is sensational.

"Oscar is in a great position with Renault, they are investing in him, they believe he’s a horse worth backing and keeping a tight eye on, and that’s exciting for him and Australian motorsport.

“He’s trying to get to an extremely tough category in Formula 1, and he knows what’s ahead of him, but Renault and ourselves know Oscar is an incredibly confident young lad, and we think he can do great things.”

Ahead of his maiden F3 campaign, Piastri is currently taking part in the official pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit.

“I’m excited to start working with Mark and Ann; I think everyone in Australia knows who Mark Webber is and he’s a pretty big name to have on my side,” Piastri said.

“Mark’s been through Formula 1, LMP1, and other categories through the years, so he has the experience that I’m sure if I have any issues, he will be able to steer me in the right direction or to the right people in the paddock.  

“It doesn’t change how I go racing; my goals are still the same; it’s just that I’ve got outstanding people in my corner now."

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