Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, has said that he regrets letting Oscar Piastri slip through his hands as a talented youth coming through the system.
Horner and his father, Garry Horner, started the Arden International team, a multiple formula racing team that Piastri drove for over two seasons prior to winning the Formula Renault Eurocup.
In 2017, Piastri finished 2nd in the F4 British Championship with the TRS Arden Junior Team, winning six races whilst also taking part in two Formula Renault Northern European Cup races.
In 2018 he competed with Arden in 20 races in his first Formula Renault Eurocup season, achieving three podiums and finishing 8th in the championship, in a year that featured many talented young drivers such as Logan Sergeant, Victor Martins, Richard Verschoor and Christian Lundgaard.
His 2019 season saw him switch to French team R-ace GP, and win the Renault Eurocup over Martins, who he had replaced at R-ace GP, before Alpine’s junior pathway snapped him up through his victorious Formula 3 and 2 seasons.
“he drove for Arden and in Formula Renault, and he had obvious talent. We had the opportunity to take an interest in him at the time but we didn’t activate that lead. It’s something I regret,” Horner commented.
“What he went on to achieve is phenomenal, in Formula 3 and Formula 2,”.
On the current situation which saw Alpine lose the immensely talented driver to McLaren, Horner had this to say; “Now, if he’d have been a driver here, there is no way that he wouldn’t have been under lock and key for a period in time. I wasn’t party to the situation, so it’s difficult to judge what was promised or reneged on and so on, but it certainly was unexpected – probably from several areas.
“Piastri a great driver. The only problem he now has to deal with is that the expectation on him will be immense,” Horner added.
“He’s going to have to get in and deliver against Lando (Norris), which is no mean feat. But you either sink or swim in this business. He’s a very, very capable driver…I’m sure he’s going to do very well.
For more of the latest motorsport news pick up the latest edition of AUTO ACTION.