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hungarian gp f1 sprint race piastri2

Piastri: I tried my best but we were no match for Max

hungarian gp f1 sprint race piastri 2

Oscar Piastri is living up to the faith shown in him by McLaren, the rookie finishing second in a tense Belgian Grand Prix F1 Sprint race, making his highly-rated teammate Lando Norris look ordinary so far this weekend.

Piastri’s first top-three finish in F1 was a deserved reward for showing astounding pace in the trickiest of conditions to almost take the P1 for the Sprint start at Spa-Francorchamps. Almost. Yes. He was 0.011s shy of pole winner Max Verstappen in the Shootout

That achievement, after on Friday when he qualified fifth for Sunday’s Grand Prix, bettering teammate Lando Norris who will line up behind his McLaren teammate on the grid, in seventh.

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On Saturday, in tricky conditions, starting the race from P2 he again ticked all the boxes with aplomb, even led for a spell before Verstappen’s dominance in the RB19 took over the show. But Piastri had played his role in a manner deserving of an Oscar.

Speaking after one of the most memorable days of his short career, the 22-year-old Australian gushed into the microphone: “Very, very happy. We tried our best when the Safety Car came in and led a few laps. I tried my best but we were no match for Max.

“But nice to be up therein P2. Apart from Max our pace was really strong, so full credit to the team again. The last three weekends it’s been pretty special compared to where we have been so I can’t thank them enough for for the car.

“We’ve still got a little bit of work to do to get right to the top but it’s a little nicer to be up there,” added Piastri, who will line up fifth on the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. His twelfth GP start.

Norris got a taste of his own medicine and it won’t have been pleasant

hungarian gp f1 sprint race piastri

In the sister car, Lando Norris got a taste of the medicine he was used to dishing out to Daniel Ricciardo when the pair shared the McLaren garage. The 23-year-old was P6, and ten seconds behind his teammate at the end of the 11-lap race.

Piastri has given Norris a true wake-up call. How the more experienced driver reacts to his teammate’s rise will be a sure test of his character as an F1 driver. In a sport where the first and most important order of business is to beat your teammate, the stage is set!

In the McLaren report, Norris summed up his afternoon: “I think it was a difficult but reasonable day. We got good points, quite a few as a team, especially with Oscar finishing in P2, so congratulations to him for scoring his first top-three in Formula 1.

“I think we did the best we could in the conditions, from being the second car, having to box on the second lap, we lost maybe two positions because of this, so it could have been a little bit better but that’s just the way it is sometimes. I’m still happy with how we performed and I’m looking forward to taking the momentum into the race,” added Norris.

Stella: The kind of pressure I see as positive pressure

Of course, McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has been around the block and is more than aware of the shift in dynamics as the team are now servicing two ultra-competent drivers.

After the Spa F1 Sprint Race, speaking about the pressure Norris will be feeling with Piastri stealing his limelight, Stella told Sky: “The kind of pressure I see as positive pressure.

“When we are in our office after a session, they speak to each other: What are you doing there? Did you see that? What do you think about Hamilton doing this? It is such a collaborative relationship.

“Obviously every driver would like to be dominant, quicker, every single lap every single session but our two drivers know this is not possible.

“You would rather take the positive of having on the other side of the garage that you can have synergy with and pick some things that can make yourself quicker. That is the dynamics we now have at McLaren with Lando and Oscar,” explained Stella.