Oscar Piastri is optimistic about the performance of the car, having gained positions from 18th to 10th in Las Vegas.
After a resilient performance in the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Oscar Piastri showcased his driving skills by climbing from the 18th position on the grid to secure a commendable 10th place. Buoyed by this success, the Australian driver is now optimistic about concluding the season on a positive note in Formula 1’s grand finale in Abu Dhabi.
The McLaren team faced significant challenges during the Las Vegas Grand Prix, realizing that the street circuit didn’t favor their MCL60 car, as both Piastri and teammate Lando Norris were eliminated in Q1 on Friday night.
Despite the setbacks, Piastri demonstrated a strong start in the Grand Prix and quickly found himself in the fourth position. However, a pit stop later in the race dropped him to tenth, even though he managed to set the fastest lap. Reflecting on the race, when asked if he had hoped for a Safety Car to capitalize on a free stop and maintain his fourth-place position, Piastri commented:
“Yep, definitely! Yeah, we were looking good for a long time, obviously it’s a shame that I knew I had to do an extra stop. Pace was very good, nice to get a bonus point for fastest lap as well.
“Not the easiest of days for a lot of people, I think, [it was a] pretty jumbled race. But I think with everything that happened it was more or less the best we could have done, so yeah, happy with the pace and just a shame that we started so far back and a couple of things didn’t quite go our way.”
Given the obstacles McLaren faced in the early stages of the Las Vegas events, Piastri expressed contentment with the impressive comeback, noting that the car’s performance on Saturday was a pleasant surprise. He remarked:
“I think we knew we had reasonable pace yesterday.
“I think today was arguably a little bit better pace than what we expected. But yeah, it was just a shame yesterday that we kind of got caught out in qualifying and [that] made life a little bit more difficult.
“Nice to know that the car pace is still good in the race, on a circuit like this that we knew wasn’t really going to suit us very well, and yeah, hopefully Abu Dhabi we can finish the year off strong.”
The season’s final race carries considerable importance as McLaren contends with Aston Martin for the fourth spot in the Constructors’ Championship. While McLaren currently occupies the position, the rival team has reduced the gap to just 11 points, courtesy of strong showings by Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, who secured double points in the Las Vegas GP.