Jarno Trulli says 22-year-old driver will be the biggest surprise of the season in 2024

Former Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli is optimistic about McLaren’s rising star, Oscar Piastri, making waves in the upcoming Formula 1 season. Trulli believes Piastri could be the surprise package, asserting that the young Australian has the potential to shine on the F1 stage.

In an exclusive interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Trulli shared his thoughts on the upcoming season, singling out the 22-year-old McLaren driver as the one to watch. Piastri had an impressive debut year, securing a Sprint Race victory in Qatar and consistently challenging his teammate, Lando Norris.

Trulli’s anticipation for Piastri’s performance is shared by many Formula 1 enthusiasts, as he stood out among the three rookies who entered the F1 scene in 2023, surpassing Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant. Despite De Vries being a former Formula E champion, Piastri’s prowess was evident.

Acknowledging the point gap between Norris and Piastri in the previous season, Trulli is optimistic that the Australian driver can elevate his game and surprise his more experienced competitors. Jenson Button emphasizes the importance of consistency for Piastri in the upcoming season to maximize his potential with McLaren.

Eddie Jordan has expressed confidence in Piastri’s abilities, predicting that he could eventually pose a threat to top drivers like Max Verstappen. Trulli, when asked about the surprise package of the season, stated, “As a surprise, I say Oscar Piastri, because he has a potentially competitive McLaren and could confirm his talent, after a very positive debut season.”

Trulli sees Piastri’s qualities, citing his speed and consistency, as key factors in his potential success. He believes that if McLaren continues to enhance their car’s performance, Piastri could frequently find himself on the podium.

Reflecting on the challenges young drivers face in the minor categories, Trulli stresses that the true test comes when they enter F1. He commends Piastri’s performance thus far and anticipates a compelling team dynamic with established driver Lando Norris.

Piastri, eager to live up to Trulli’s prediction, faces the season with the benefit of a year of F1 experience, having navigated various tracks in 2023. With team principals Zak Brown and Andrea Stella aiming for Piastri to push Norris to new heights, the young Australian’s consistency will be crucial as he continues to learn the ropes in F1.