Piastri hopeful Miami an ‘outlier’ for McLaren
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 23rd May, 2023 - 5:01pm
Oscar Piastri is hopeful that the performance struggles he and McLaren experienced in Miami were track-specific.
The Australian battled for much of the race with a brake-by-wire failure and was classified 19th at the finish.
His McLaren team-mate, Lando Norris, was only two places better off.
That result came a week after Norris scored points in Azerbaijan where Piastri finished one spot outside of the points.
“In Baku, we were, I guess, in some ways a bit cautious of how much of it was the tarmac and the temperature and the layout of the track versus our upgrades,” the Australian said.
“Clearly [in Miami], we’ve got the same car as what we had in Baku, and it’s a very different story.
“We’re still seeing that our car has weaknesses, which we knew was going to be the case.
“Internally, we were definitely not getting ahead of ourselves of ‘this floor is the magic answer’. It’s not.
“[Miami] has proven that our car is better than what it started the year off as, but I think these conditions are still exposing some of the weaknesses.”
McLaren introduced a new floor and new rear wing for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the latter a circuit-specific upgrade designed to reduce drag and aid top speed down the long front straight.
No further developments were introduced for Miami, which followed just a week after the Baku event.
McLaren remains fifth in the constructors’ championship, now tied on points with Alpine but ahead courtesy of Norris’ sixth place in Melbourne.
A significant upgrade remains in the works, team boss Andrea Stella describing that as “kind of a B-spec car.”
That is due before the summer break, though the team has not yet been willing to commit to a specific race.
Formula 1 is back in action this weekend with the Monaco Grand Prix, with opening practice beginning at 13:30 local time (21:30 AEST).
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