Why the number 81 in 2023 for Piastri?

Piastri has revealed that his choice of race number, #81, has special personal significance for him. This is one that he hopes will bring him luck in his Formula 1 debut season.

The 2023 season is soon about to start and the 21-year-old Australian racer Oscar Piastri is ready to represent McLaren. He has previously served as a reserve driver for Alpine F1 Team. The racer has chosen the number 81 to be his number to be his official number. In late November last year, he ran number 28 in a private test using McLaren's MCL35M. 

“Correct, it will be #81, as long as nobody pinches that before we put in my number, but I think that’s pretty safe!” said Piastri on In the Fast Lane, the podcast of Australian Grand Prix. “Eighty-one was the number I had in karting. The story of how I got 81 is not particularly interesting, but I’ll explain it anyway…”

The podcast was pretty entertaining and informative. The hosts sure have a lot of questions to ask Piastri. Explaining why the number 81, he commented, “When I did my first race I had to pick a number for my first race, and the kart shop I went to only had number ones in stock, and it had to be a one or two-digit number. I obviously couldn’t be number one because yeah, for obvious reasons, so I was actually number 11 for my first couple of races, and then we entered I think it was the Victorian state titles and somebody had already entered as number 11. I don’t know what inspired me to pick 81, but I changed the first one for a number eight, and it stuck ever since. So, there you go!”

Piastri comes from the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. However, he is now living in the United Kingdom. He clinched his first massive title overseas title in 2019 as he won the competitive Formula Renault Euro cup. He had scored 7 wins.