Piastri recounts McLaren brake-by-wire failure
By Mat Coch
Monday 8th May, 2023 - 1:25pm
Oscar Piastri said his brake pedal felt “about two metres long” after suffering a brake-by-wire issue in his McLaren during the Miami Grand Prix.
The brake-by-wire problem was one of a number the Australian was confronted with during the 57-lap encounter.
Those manifested after Piastri’s first stop on Lap 5 after an aggressive starting tyre strategy.
“It was a calculated risk on the strategy,” he said of starting on the soft compound Pirellis.
“We went into the race with two [sets] of hard tyres. Try something a bit different because, to be honest, we weren’t going to get to the points on pace today.
“So [we] tried something different [and it] didn’t really work. It worked on the first lap, got a lot of positions off the start, and then about three or four laps after the pitstop I had a BBW failure, with some other failures as well.
“That was why the pace was so terrible. After that, I had a brake pedal that was about two metres long, it felt like, amongst other things.”
Team boss Andrea Stella admitted the team considered retiring Piastri from the race once the problems occurred.
The Italian described his young driver’s performance as “excellent” as he nursed the car to the finish.
In the car, Piastri had no warning of a potential brake-by-wire issue with his McLaren ahead of time.
“It was sudden,” he said.
“Hit the brakes one lap and the brake pedal just went to the floor.
“We need to understand why. I’m not sure it was just a BBW; we had some other issues as well going on.”
“Was good switch practice, that’s for sure,” he added.
“I’m glad we did extensive work on that in testing. It paid off today in some ways.
“It was nice to learn and deal with those situations – obviously if we’re in a points-paying position or something like that, it’s really important that you can do that seamlessly.”
Piastri is 13th in the drivers’ standings after five races courtesy of the points he scored at the Australian Grand Prix.
McLaren is now level with Alpine in the constructors’ championship after Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished in the top 10.
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