Oscar Piastri, Formula One Driver with the McLaren Formula 1 team, has become a household name over the last few years, making his full time debut in 2023 and scoring his first F1 podium in Japan this year.

But Piastri didn’t make his racing debut on the Formula One track, in fact, he also took to the track here in Maryborough, when he competed in the 2013 Energy Breakthrough for Haileybury College’s Hailey’s Comet.

With a thirst for competition that started in childhood, the racing and competition aspect of the Energy Breakthrough was what initially drew Oscar to the event, but it was the design and building process that piqued his interest in the event even further. With a passion for design, and problem-solving, a career in engineering would have been on the cards for Oscar, if not for his incredible success on the international racing circuit.

When we spoke to Oscar recently, it became clear that the key things that the Energy Breakthrough are about; technology and innovation, design and competitive spirit, are the passions that led Oscar from the Maryborough race track, to the Formula One racetracks of the world. It’s not hard to see how one led to the other, Oscar told us ‘“I think racing is in the blood and so, whatever level or age that is at, it still gives you the same feeling.”

And the similarities between the two events don’t stop there. Formula One has the same vision as the Energy Breakthrough for the environment, and is working hard to develop sustainable fuels, and working towards net-zero by 2030. A fact that Oscar feels much encouraged by, telling us that he sees sustainability as being incredibly important for sport and society.

Despite being based in Oxford, England now, Oscar told us that he’s still a proud Australian, and loves returning home in the off-season.

For those who might like to follow a similar path to Oscar, he says that the most important thing is to ‘have fun and enjoy it, because you never know where it might lead to…exploring and pursing the things you are interested in is a great feeling’.

Oscar wishes this year’s Energy Breakthrough participants the best of luck, as do we!