F1 news 2023: Oscar Piastri mum turns down McLaren gesture ahead of historic Japanese Grand Prix

Oscar Piastri has made Formula 1 history, but it’s his mum that’s getting the limelight yet again.

Having developed a cult following on social media for her motherly antics in response to Oscar’s F1 career, the Piastri matriarch’s appeal to the public for a cheap flight to Japan from their native Melbourne on short notice went viral.

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In response to Piastri continuing his love-affair with flowing high-downforce layouts and putting his McLaren MCL60 on the front row at Suzuka, Nicole Piastri looked for celebratory help on Twitter.

“Anyone got a cheap flight to Japan?”, Piastri tweeted.

A Jetstar flight from Melbourne Tullamarine to Osaka Kansai, the nearest international airport to Suzuka Circuit where the Japanese Grand Prix is held, costs around $550 on a day’s notice, but entails 24 hours of travel time with a stopover in Cairns.

McLaren boss Zak Brown, asked whether Piastri’s flights could be organised for her to watch her son wrestle with likely triple World Champion Max Verstappen down to turn one, was more than happy to oblige.

“I’m very happy to buy her airline ticket,” Brown said.

“So if you can get here, Mrs Piastri, we want to see you.”

Piastri responded on Twitter, politely declining Brown’s offer.

“Thank you for the kind offer, (Zak) but I think it’s best that I have my anxiety attack in the comfort of my own home,” she wrote on Twitter, referencing her infamous nerves when Oscar races.

“I do however intend to have mastered the art of meditation in time for the Vegas GP though.”

It seems Piastri is more keen on a trip to Las Vegas.

It’s not the first time her thoughts on F1 and Oscar’s career have gone viral, with her priceless reactions evoking empathy from mothers of thrillseeking sons the world over.

When news of Oscar’s three-year contract extension dropped, Piastri was shattered.

“What! So we are doing this for another 3 years???”, she wrote.

In response to a photo op Oscar did for a MotoGP race on a motorbike, Nicole had a reaction every mother could relate to, whipping out the dreaded middle name.

“Oh no you don’t!”, she exclaimed in a reply to the tweet.

“Move away from the bike Oscar Jack Piastri. My heart can barely cope with cars.”

Piastri Jr will become just the fifth Australian to start a Formula 1 race from the front row of the grid after an impressive performance in qualifying on Saturday.

McLaren continued their impressive form from last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit, as Piastri qualified second fastest ahead of teammate Lando Norris, who was third quickest.

While happy with the result, Piastri was slightly disappointed not to have nailed a perfect lap.

“Well done everybody, thank you,” he said on team radio.

“The first lap was pretty good. The second one, nailed the tricky stuff and f***ed up the less tricky stuff. So thank you, good starting spot for tomorrow. Let’s have some fun!”

It’s the first time Piastri has out-qualified Norris this season and the surest indication yet that the 22-year-old rookie is the real deal.

Piastri joins Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber, Alan Jones and Jack Brabham as the only Australian drivers to start an F1 Grand Prix from the front row of the grid.

He also becomes the first rookie driver to put his car on the front row since Nico Hulkenberg in Brazil in 2010.

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