No regrets for Piastri


Despite missing out on a maiden Sprint win, Oscar Piastri has no regrets, admitting that there was no way he could keep Max Verstappen behind.

Starting alongside the world champion, the Australian took the lead of the Sprint on Lap 2, having 'undercut' the Red Bull driver by pitting for Inters when the Safety Car pulled off track.

When the Safety Car was deployed once again following Fernando Alonso's crash, Piastri led the Dutchman, but failed to take the initiative at the restart thereby allowing Verstappen to retake the lead shortly after.

Nonetheless, on the back of strong performance at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, the Australian has few regrets.

"We tried our best," he said. "We boxed when the safety car came in, we led a few laps, but we were no match for Max," he admitted.

"I thought the safety car was going to be in my favour, as it meant less laps to try and hold him behind," he continued. "I looked out of Turn 1 and I feel like I got a decent restart. I looked at the top of Eau Rouge and he was basically on top of me already. I couldn't keep him behind on the straight.

"You're always focusing on trying to do the best laps you can. But when you've got Max and his car behind you, it doesn't put your nerves at ease, put it that way.

"I knew it was going to be difficult to hold him behind, of course," he admitted. "I probably wasn't expecting him to catch me literally at the top of Eau Rouge off the Safety Car restart, but such is our straight-line speed.

"So I was just trying to focus on doing the best job I could, knowing that it was probably going to be a when Max came past, rather than an if. I tried my best, and I think second was all we had.

"Clearly, we have a little bit more work to do. But I'm very happy to get the good points… I think apart from Max, our pace was really strong. So, full credit to the team again.

"The last three weekends we've had, it's been pretty special compared to where we have been, so I can't thank them enough for the car. We've still got a little bit of work to do clearly to get right to the top. But it's a lot nicer to be up there and to lead my first laps was a day I won't forget."

The Australian admits that the team's recent form has helped in terms of his own development during his rookie season.

"I feel like it's going well, but I wouldn't say it's particularly linear in my development," he said. "I feel like Silverstone was the best weekend so far. I think Budapest, there were still a few things that I probably needed to learn and work on. I think here's been obviously quite strong today, and yesterday, maybe there was a bit left on the table.

"It's not always linear," he continued, "I think in the conditions we've had this weekend, it's so easy to want more and more and then you find yourself in the wall. So I've got to keep my expectations in check.

"I feel like in a general trend, it's going in the right direction. I'm getting more and more comfortable with the car, because the car is much, much better now than it was at the start of the year which of course helps with the feeling of the car, but also knowing if you do a good job, you can fight for the top three, it helps.

"I feel like it's in the right direction. There'll be ups and downs for sure, but hopefully it's more ups."

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Published: 30/07/2023
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