Piastri: ‘Nice to be on the good end of things’ in Melbourne
By Mat Coch
Sunday 2nd April, 2023 - 9:19pm
Oscar Piastri was pleased to be “on the good end” of events in the chaotic Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver scored his first career points for eighth at the end of a chaotic day in Albert Park that saw three red flags.
Piastri managed to avoid the carnage, taking the flag ninth on the road before benefiting from a post-race penalty for Carlos Sainz to gain another place.
Team-mate Lando Norris finished sixth, the pair combining to hand McLaren 12 points from the race.
“Obviously it’s not been a great first two races for the whole team – largely things out of out control,” Piastri said post-race.
“Some more things out of our control went right today, I guess, to get us into the points.
“But to get this amount of points this early in the year is obviously something we needed; to get points on the board.
“Of course, we’ve got some upgrades coming in Baku and later through the year.
“To get the points on the board with the car that we have at the moment is really good.”
McLaren has had a tough start to 2023 with an electrical issue eliminating Piastri early in Bahrain.
Norris then suffered a pneumatic leak which forced the Brit to stop six times.
In Saudi Arabia, Piastri picked up front wing damage, debris from which compromised Norris on that occasion.
“The first race two races, really couldn’t have gone that much worse, I would say – obviously Bahrain we both had our issues, in Saudi contact wiping out both of us,” recalled Piastri.
“So it was nice to be on the good end of other things going wrong with other people!”
Having started 16th, Piastri rose to 13th on the opening lap, remaining there until the Safety Car for Alex Albon’s crash.
Following the restart, he found himself tucked up behind the Scuderia AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda until he rounded the outside of the Japanese driver on Lakeside Drive.
The pair touched on approach to Turn 1, though neither sustained damage.
“I think it was a bit of a bit of a squeeze, but no harm done,” Piastri said of the moment.
Once beyond Tsunoda, the 21-year-old ran 11th, remaining there until the final restart where he emerged unscathed to cross the line ninth.
“Definitely happy to get my first points on the board, especially here at home,” he said of the result.
“Was a crazy race, obviously.
“I think that’s the first race I’ve had [that’s had] three red flags – I think it’s probably because most people’s first race like that.
“So yeah, kept ourselves out of trouble and end up in the points at the end, which is great.”
Piastri now sits tied with Valtteri Bottas and both Alpine drivers on four points in the drivers’ championship standings.
McLaren, which had been without a point prior to Melbourne, has climbed to fifth in the constructors’ race with a total of 12.
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