Australian GP ‘extremely positive’ for Piastri

Oscar Piastri had an 'extremely positive' Australian GP

Oscar Piastri had an ‘extremely positive’ Australian GP

McLaren team boss Andrea Stella has described the Australian GP as “extremely positive” for Oscar Piastri.

It marked the 21-year-old’s first points finish in Formula 1 and helped McLaren take 12 from the event.

Red flags interrupted the Albert Park race on three occasions, the last for two incidents close to Piastri.

The rookie managed to avoid them all and crossed the line ninth.

He was then elevated to eighth courtesy of a post-race time penalty for Carlos Sainz.

First Australian GP for Piastri

“I think Oscar’s race [on Sunday] is extremely positive,” Stella asserted.

“He managed to stay out of trouble in a complex race – actually managed to stay out of trouble even when there was a situation in corner one in which he was squeezed [by Yuki Tsunoda] to stay calm.”

Piastri found himself battling with Tsunoda through the opening half of the race.

He eventually got passed the Scuderia AlphaTauri driver courtesy of DRS on the run to the Turn 9/10 chicane on Lap 29.

It mirrored a move performed by team-mate Lando Norris on Lap 14.

“In terms of how long it took to over to overtake [Tsunoda], I’m not sure if it could have been more rapid or not,” Stella said.

“But that’s, to be honest, not very relevant.

“With Oscar, clearly our main objective is to just keep progressing, so we want to stay in the race, no unnecessary risks, and ultimately he capitalised.”

Continued development

Piastri’s performance is in keeping with those in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where he’s made quiet strides forward.

That progress has long been the stated aim for the Melburnian this season after a year on the sidelines.

“Even if it was a short race, the race in Bahrain, it was competitive,” Stella said of Piastri’s development.

“The first stint, obviously maybe for the big audience it wasn’t very apparent, but for us looking at the details, we were very happy with the pace already in Bahrain.

“[Australia] was a little more eventful in terms of close racing and in this sense, we’re very pleased with the fact that he could race hard, he could race competitively, but without any trouble.”

Piastri sits equal 11th in the drivers’ championship after three races. He’s tied on points with Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, and Pierre Gasly.

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