's Oscar Piastri
asserted in his most recent interview he feels his team is in a much better place than 12 months ago.
It makes sense for McLaren to be in a much better place than last January because going into the season 2023, the Papaya team was one of the worst on the grid.
However, what happened following one of the worst season starts in McLaren's history is what gives Piastri confidence in his team leaders.
McLaren brought upgrades that significantly improved their cars' performance, which made them effectively the second or third-fastest team in the second half of the season
. As reported by motorsport.com
, Piastri said:
"I've got complete confidence in [Stella], in Zak, in different parts of the business. It's exceeded everyone's expectations of how quickly we've been able to turn things around."
Going into the winter break, McLaren was in a very good place to continue on their path to challenging the top teams on the grid in battle for the Championship.
On the other hand, last year showed us winter break development wasn't McLaren's strength. Will the team improve as much as they need to at least keep their position? The Australian driver said:
"We're happier than we were at this point 12 months ago with how things are looking. But until you're on track with everyone else, you never quite know what it's going to be like…"
McLaren, with their 22-year-old driver, is not the only one who will be holding their breath for the first race of the season. It is virtually the same far as all the teams on the grid.
Andrea Stella recently tempered the expectations of all McLaren fans, saying the car that we will see in Bahrain still needs improvements in key areas
, which will come in the form of upgrades in the later stages of the season. Piastri added:
"The thing for us is, we still have pretty clear weaknesses [low-speed handling] compared to our competitors. It's just that we also have good strengths as well."