Mark Webber says McLaren was right to oust Ricciardo
"In the end it was clearly the right one"
Oscar Piastri’s manager says the impressive Australian should not feel bad about replacing Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren this year.
Piastri, 22, picked up the FIA’s rookie of the year prize at the recent end-of-season gala, but he had entered Formula 1 in much more controversial circumstances.
For one, he enraged his Alpine bosses by finding a way out of his contract, and he also pushed countryman Ricciardo onto the F1 sidelines.
Piastri’s manager Mark Webber, however, insists Piastri should not feel bad.
"It is clear that Daniel had had two very tough seasons as a McLaren driver," he told Soy Motor. "If Oscar had not replaced him this year, another driver would have."
Webber, a former F1 driver himself, reveals that Piastri had misgivings about his entry to the sport.
"He said at the time that he was taking the seat away from another Australian and there aren’t many of us who have raced in Formula 1," he said.
"But what can you say? It was McLaren’s decision and in the end it was clearly the right one."
Webber also says that’s "just the nature of Formula 1 - that you must seize your opportunities.
"But honestly, people thought we had a lot of options for 2023 but that wasn’t the case," said the 47-year-old. "McLaren was fantastic and very clear from the start, which is something that Oscar loved.
"It was clear to him that someone wanted him to drive for him and so it was an easy decision for us."