Piastri: Podium finishes becoming ‘normal’ for McLaren
By Mat Coch
Friday 6th October, 2023 - 7:00am
Oscar Piastri has suggested podium results are becoming increasingly “normal” for McLaren after a string of top-three results for the team.
Piastri scored his first F1 podium at the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago, crossing the line behind Max Verstappen and team-mate Lando Norris.
Following a character-building start to the campaign with a car that missed its development targets, McLaren has bounced back since introducing upgrades at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Suzuka marked Norris’ fourth second-place finish of the year, the Brit having finished fourth at the Red Bull Ring before a brace of seconds in Silverstone and the Hungaroring.
Piastri was unlucky not to join his McLaren comrade on the podium at the British Grand Prix when an ill-timed Safety Car allowed Lewis Hamilton to steal away third position.
Following the Japanese GP, Piastri returned to the United Kingdom where he celebrated with the team at its Woking factory.
“I’d like to hope that they were quite happy after that weekend,” the 22-year-old said.
“Now it’s, which is also quite an exciting feeling, is that it’s in some ways less exciting than the first podium because we’ve had a couple now.
“So I think it’s becoming somewhat more normal for us, which is a very exciting place to be.
“There’s the kind of sense that we can achieve that more often now and of course we’re trying to set our sights on even further ahead.”
While Japan marked Piastri’s first official top-three finish in F1, he was second in the Sprint at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hopes remain high at McLaren of a similarly strong performance in Lusail given its broad similarities to Suzuka, where the MCL60 proved the second-best car behind the Red Bull RB19.
McLaren has proved strong in high-speed corners all season and added medium-speed performance to its arsenal with the Austria update.
That was further underscored with a second update introduced at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Slow-speed corners remain a weakness, though with only one such turn on the Lusail circuit that is less of an issue this weekend.
“I think it should suit us reasonably well,” Piastri ventured of the weekend ahead.
“Obviously the high-speed corners are nice for us but it’s going to be a very hot weekend.
“It’s a Sprint weekend, some unknowns on the track, and we’re also quite sensitive to stuff like that.
“On paper, it looks reasonable, but I don’t think we’ll know fully until tomorrow.”