McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri, found himself behind Max Verstappen on the rain-struck streets of Monaco, the Australian navigating his MCL60 while picking up some driving tips from the Dutchman.
Late changes to weather conditions at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix provided a new challenge for Formula 1 drivers on Sunday, as heavy rainfall affected many areas of the track. Max Verstappen, once again with ease, defied the mixed conditions and took the win in the end.
After the Dutchman lapped Oscar Piastri and his McLaren, it was the latter who, in his own words, gained a benefit by following the #1 Red Bull.
“I don’t think there was any touches, but some very close moments – especially on the slicks,” Piastri, quoted by Motorsport.com, reflected on his treacherous wet weather experience around Monaco which included a near miss at one point.
“One time, I keyed up the radio to talk and almost put it in the wall mid-sentence. I won’t do that next time! But a few close calls.
“Having Max right in front of me was actually quite useful in some ways, because that was my first time on slicks on a rainy track in an F1 car. Having Max there, I obviously knew that if it was going to be anyone that’s probably going to be okay, it’s probably going to be him. So that was quite useful in some ways,” he explained.
Piastri happy he could keep up with Verstappen…
Piastri revealed he was happy that at some point, he could keep up with Verstappen; he said: “When it was raining on the slicks, understandably he was I think being very cautious, so I could keep with him quite well there. And even when we came out on inters, I could keep with him quite well.
“Once the track dried up and he got a bit more comfortable, then he was a fair bit quicker. But initially I was managing to keep behind him, which is the first time I’ve been able to say that, so it was nice,” the Aussie maintained.
Of course, this didn’t last too long, as Verstappen was soon miles ahead of the young McLaren driver, and cleared the race being a full lap up on him, and later the reigning F1 champ put things into perspective admitting that he wasn’t pushing very hard during the harsh conditions, as his target was to conserve his gap and bring his RB19 home in one piece.
Verstappen explained: “It was just that I had a big lead and I didn’t want to risk trying to be the same pace or faster and then end up in the wall.
“You have to be a little bit more careful. It’s just not taking too much risk but at the same time, of course not driving too slowly,” the Red Bull ace added.
The good thing for Piastri is that, if ever there was an F1 driver to learn from in the rain, especially of the current generation, Verstappen is the one, and Monaco he got a free lesson.