Piastri reveals ‘last hurdle’ Jeddah requirement
By Mat Coch
Saturday 18th March, 2023 - 4:30pm
Oscar Piastri has conceded to lacking consistency in his bid to ‘put it all together’ around the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
On his first visit to the track in an F1 car, and since claiming two wins from three Formula 2 starts in 2021, the Australian was off the pace in Friday’s two practice sessions.
The 21-year-old was 14th fastest in FP1 with a 1:31.491s before trimming half a second off that in the day’s latter outing.
That left him 19th at 1.3s away from Max Verstappen’s best, while team-mate Lando Norris was only 0.2s faster to sit 12th.
“I think we’ve got some improvements to try and make,” Piastri said.
“The field was so tight in FP2 there, so anything small we can find both on my side and the team’s side will go a long way.
It was another quiet day for the Australian who completed his programme without incident.
That follows the approach adopted in Bahrain where he built into his weekend prior to qualifying.
“I’m pretty happy to push,” Piastri said of his Friday.
“I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with the car and where it’s good, where it’s not so good.
“It’s now just putting it all together really, which I think is the last hurdle.
“It feels like I can do it here and there in different laps but just putting it all in one…
“Consistency is what I’m lacking at the moment.”
Piastri targeting Qualifying 2
McLaren has shown itself to be somewhere in the tightly-packed F1 midfield meaning a strong lap from Piastri could see him progress into Q2 for the first time.
Beyond that, he aims to chalk up the laps and see the chequered flag on Sunday.
“I think we’ve seen again tonight how close it is to get out of Q1 again, so [that’s] probably the first aim,” he said.
“Then the race, finishing would be a good start but try and learn as much as I can.
“We seem to be in a reasonable place for the longer runs this afternoon, or this evening, so hopefully that’s a strength for the rest of the weekend.”
Practice in Saudi Arabia continues today with FP3 at 16:30 local time (00:30 AEDT Sunday) ahead of Qualifying from 18:00 (04:00 AEDT Sunday).
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