Piastri Sprint win ‘very well deserved’
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 10th October, 2023 - 3:02pm
McLaren team boss Andrea Stella believes victory for Oscar Piastri in the F1 Sprint in Qatar was “very well deserved”.
Piastri started from pole in the Saturday evening affair in Lusail and battled George Russell to claim his maiden F1 win.
Stella, who has often spoken highly of his young Australian driver, was full and adulation for the 22-year-old.
“This victory comes in, to me, in a dominant way,” he said.
“He was P1 in the shootout [on Saturday] afternoon and then he was very strong in the race; a strong pace, he could match [Max] Verstappen’s pace in the final laps, there was a racing situation, being overtaken, re-overtaking, so very well deserved.
“It adds a bit of history, another piece of history, to his career after the first podium.”
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Piastri has made an immediate impact since joining the F1 grid this season.
He’s adopted a calm and methodical approach, often flying under the radar in the early sessions before delivering ever-improving performances when it matters.
It’s a process that has resulted in few incidents and earned him a lot of support within the team.
It has also meant he’s been ready to capitalise on the potential of the MCL60 as the car has improved, too.
Where Aston Martin was the revelation of the early part of the campaign, McLaren has stolen its thunder as the year has worn on.
It has earned praise from Mercedes’ technical boss James Allison, who suggests the Woking operation has transformed arguably the worst car on the grid to the second-fastest.
“Chapeau to them for having come from more or less the worst car, or vying for it, to being second quickest,” he told Sky Sports.
Though circumstances conspired against him in Silverstone to rob him of a maiden podium, he did secure second in the F1 Sprint in Belgium a few weeks later.
Piastri’s success on Saturday night in Qatar, in addition to that which followed and McLaren’s impressive Japanese Grand Prix performance, has left morale soaring.
And while that is a positive, Stella was quick to point out that it has still not reached its final objective.
“It’s positive emotions for the team,” Stella said of the F1 Sprint victory.
“A lot of points, another little milestone in our journey, it’s a happy one.
“I feel, for the team, for everyone that works so hard and contributed to turn the situation around, and just have so much gratitude for them,” he added
“We often say that to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, you need to somehow enjoy it and when you have good results, enjoy it and sustain the pace that Formula 1 requires.”