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Formula 1 2023 rookies: Oscar Piastri, Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant set to embark on debut campaigns

Formula 1 welcomes three new faces to the grid for the 2023 season; McLaren's Oscar Piastri, AlphaTauri's Nyck de Vries and Williams' Logan Sargeant are out to make an impact; watch pre-season testing live on Sky Sports F1 , with coverage starting at 6:50am from Thursday

2023 F1 rookies Oscar Piastri (L), Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant (R)
Image: Oscar Piastri (L), Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant (R) are set for their debut F1 campaigns

With the start of Formula 1's biggest-ever season approaching, it is time to meet the three much-talked-about rookies who will be joining the 2023 grid.

F1 is about to embark on what promises to be a thrilling 23-race campaign, and the intrigue is only increased by the presence of three new faces.

Australian Oscar Piastri is one of the most-highly-anticipated additions to the grid in a long time, while Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant are also out to prove they belong at motorsport's top table.

The trio will all be looking to make a strong start at pre-season testing, which begins in Bahrain on Thursday, before the competitive action gets under way at the same circuit from March 3-5.

Pre-season testing and all 23 races are live on Sky Sports F1 this season.

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Oscar Piastri, McLaren

After one of the most dramatic games of musical chairs in the summer of 2022, Piastri is the rookie who comes into 2023 with the most pressure on his shoulders, but also the most excitement surrounding his talent.

The young Australian will replace his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo after the eight-time winner struggled to deliver the mighty pace expected of him, eroding the reputation he had created at Red Bull and, to a lesser extent, Renault.

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Piastri says he is focused on life at McLaren and is ready to get stuck in after the 2023 car launch

Piastri has enjoyed a stellar rise through the junior ranks, winning Formula 3 and Formula 2 in back-to-back seasons just like Charles Leclerc and George Russell - and even going one better than those current stars by notching a Formula Renault title in 2019. Three titles in his last three racing years highlights the 21-year-old's megastar potential, while also creating expectation for him to perform immediately in his debut campaign.

What a lot of fans may know Piastri for, though, is how he joined McLaren.

While Alpine bit off more than they could chew with three high-level drivers and two cars, Piastri has an external pressure to eradicate from the start, and on top of that has already seemingly burned bridges with one of F1's 10 teams.

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Sky Sports News' Craig Slater explains the Alpine errors that led to them losing their contract battle against McLaren over Piastri

If this McLaren venture goes wrong, that leaves less room for manoeuvre when looking for a drive.

Then, there is the team-mate he comes up against in 2023.

Ricciardo was made to look rather average indeed by McLaren's other driver Lando Norris - and the young Briton will be a huge problem for Piastri. At 23, he is already the leader of the team that nurtured him through their young driver programme, and, on top of that, he has the experience and confidence to handle what is known to be a tough car to drive. In short, this is Norris' team, car and family - a daunting prospect for the young rookie joining.

But, despite all this, there is more than a good chance that Piastri will succeed.

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Piastri has, quite frankly, blitzed the competition through the feeder series to generate hype a-la Hamilton, Verstappen and Leclerc, while he has also been around F1 teams and cars longer than most rookies.

McLaren will hope the bliss of youth will help the starlet achieve what Norris did in comparison to Ricciardo. The intra-team battle at McLaren will be fascinating to see.

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri

De Vries arrives in Formula 1 as an older rookie but also as a champion of two prestigious series - Formula 2 and Formula E - to both suggest that there should be few growing pains, and that AlphaTauri may have a new team leader.

De Vries' Italian Grand Prix super-sub performance last season, stepping in for an appendicitis-suffering Alex Albon, showed his maturity, adaptability and speed. Yes, the Williams was quicker than anticipated around Monza, but most would have flapped while the Dutchman took home points at his first attempt, lapping his team-mate Nicholas Latifi.

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De Vries explains why he decided to join AlphaTauri and speaks about his plans for the future

Maturity is a key word when it comes to a 28-year-oid. While some teams may have written him off for being older than most rookies, ironically, the team famous for giving young drivers a shot, AlphaTauri, is the one he joins in 2023.

Pierre Gasly showed the advantages of Red Bull's junior team having a team leader alongside a learning youngster. While the quickly improving Yuki Tsunoda - De Vries' new team-mate - will be going into his third F1 season, it will be interesting to see whether he has as many leadership qualities as De Vries, who appears ready to drive the team forward now.

In terms of pressure, De Vries might relax in the knowledge that the world has seen he is brilliant in his Italian cameo. It will also help that many corners of the paddock appear to like and rate him.

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De Vries says it felt like a 'dream' to finish ninth on his F1 debut after stepping in for Alex Albon at Williams

He drove a Mercedes, Williams and an Aston Martin in practice last year, which led to many internet memes of him wearing different race suits. But what is more is that he seems to be one of few things that Red Bull and Mercedes have agreed on.

The paddock is behind him, but De Vries will know he needs to perform as you are only as good as your last race. His last race was Monza for now, but there are a fair number of drivers to testify for the high pressure, and impatient at times, Red Bull environment that has seen the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen and Ricciardo swim, and others not.

Logan Sargeant, Williams

Williams have promoted Formula 2's fourth-placed finisher Sargeant to Formula 1 in 2023, and one of the first questions will be: 'Why not the three drivers ahead of him in the championship?'

One answer will inevitably be his nationality, with America's F1 interest soaring and Sargeant becoming the first US driver to hit the grid since 2015. But the 22-year-old is also bolstered by the fact he was already part of the Williams young driver academy - Valtteri Bottas turned out alright, after all - while he is also a quicker driver than his last season will have you believe.

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Speaking after Williams' 2023 car launch, Sargeant looks ahead to the new season

Sargeant has got pedigree. He manged a podium in the notoriously difficult Macau Grand Prix (a feat even Hamilton could not achieve) and he was unlucky to finish third in the 2020 Formula 3 championship after a dramatic DNF in the final race saw Piastri snatch the title.

The rookie will also arrive in Bahrain with plenty of miles in an F1 car under his belt after participating in practice sessions in Texas, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi as well as the post-season young driver test.

Questions, though, will still linger as to whether he deserves to be one of 20 F1 drivers.

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Sargeant finished fifth in the final F2 feature race of 2022 to secure the super licence he needed to compete in F1

In some ways, he will have the same level of pressure as the driver he replaces, Latifi - fans and media alike will not be talking him up as the next big thing.

This lack of expectation could work in favour of the Miami-born driver who has flown under the radar. Unlike Piastri's situation at McLaren, if Sargeant gets out-driven by his highly-regarded Williams team-mate Alex Albon, it would not be the end of the world. On the other hand, if Sargeant puts Albon under pressure, or even beats him, he would be lauded.

Whether it is Red Bull, McLaren, Williams, or any other team, F1 is fast-paced and cut-throat, so the three rookies of 2023 know they need to perform - some more than others.

Find out how they, and the other 17 fastest drivers on the planet fare, live on Sky Sports F1 this season.

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