Piastri: Miami to give better read on McLaren upgrades

Oscar Piastri believes Miami will offer a better read on upgrades at McLaren

Oscar Piastri believes Miami will offer a better read on upgrades at McLaren

Oscar Piastri believes McLaren will get a better understanding of the upgrades it debuted in Azerbaijan at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

The Baku City Circuit offers a unique combination of long straights and 90-degree corners.

Miami sees more medium and high-speed turns mixed with slower-speed corners and long straights.

This weekend also sees the sport revert to its traditional format, with three 60-minute practice sessions – last weekend, the new F1 Sprint forward saw just one hour of practice before two qualifying sessions.

It left little time to evaluate upgrades as teams worked on set-up before cars went into parc ferme.

“I think we got a reasonable read on it; it did more or less what we expected,” Piastri said of the upgrades McLaren debuted in Baku.

“Here, we’ll get a better idea and also got a bit more time to try some stuff.”

Opening practice was Piastri’s first experience of the Miami circuit, which has undergone several changes from last year.

Chief among those is a new surface around the 5.412km circuit following complaints from drivers about the lack of grip last year – a gripe which has remained.

“We learnt a lot on what was quite a tricky track surface and temperature for FP1,” Piastri said of the opening day’s running.

“In FP2 the track gripped up and got a lot faster, and we have some work to do to adapt to that.

“We were trying a few things throughout the session but we’re still working on it.

“It’s not been a bad day, but we’ve got plenty to look over for tomorrow.”

Miami is the second new circuit on the calendar and, arguably, the fourth street circuit in the opening five races.

The venue takes in roads and car parks around the Hard Rock Stadium in what is a temporary venue – though one that doesn’t require the closure of public streets.

“Jeddah I’d been to before, so that was not really a new one for me; Baku as well was the same,” Piastri said of the start of 2023.

“But yeah, four street circuits out of five in the first five races is not an easy challenge.”

Piastri was 12th fastest in Free Practice 1, 1.685s off the pace of George Russell, and 16th best in Free Practice 2.

Speaking earlier in the day, McLaren team boss Zak Brown described the Australian as “a future world champion”.

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