Oscar Piastri Secures Impressive Front Row Start in Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying
Disappointment Lingers as Piastri Misses Out on Improving in Final Run of Q3
Australian driver Oscar Piastri made a significant impact during qualifying for the 2023 F1 Round 17 Japanese Grand Prix, securing his first front-row start in Formula 1. Despite this achievement, Piastri expressed his disappointment at not being able to better his position during the final run of Q3.
This weekend marks Piastri’s debut at the legendary Suzuka circuit, and he showcased impressive speed throughout the qualifying session, ultimately securing second place on the grid, surpassing his teammate Lando Norris. Notably, he surpassed his personal best at Silverstone earlier this year and became the first rookie to secure a front-row position in Formula 1 since 2010.
However, Piastri faced the undeniable challenge of competing against Red Bull’s powerhouse, Max Verstappen. Dominating all three practice sessions, Verstappen clinched an astounding pole position with a remarkable six-tenths of a second lead. Despite this daunting feat, Piastri maintained a positive outlook and reflected on his career-best qualifying performance, stating, “I’m very, very happy.” He attributed his success to strategic changes made by his team and praised the speed of his car during the third practice session.
Acknowledging the undeniable gap between himself and Verstappen, Piastri confessed that the McLaren lacked the necessary speed to challenge the front-runner. While disappointed that his final lap did not yield improvement, Piastri recognized the limitations and dismissed its ultimate significance. He acknowledged that the McLaren car’s recent updates, introduced at the Singapore Grand Prix, still had room for growth. Piastri acknowledged the persistent challenges that the Suzuka circuit poses and expressed enthusiasm for returning next year with increased confidence and familiarity.
Piastri’s performance in qualifying sets the stage for an exciting Japanese Grand Prix, as both McLaren drivers will be positioned alongside Verstappen. With Norris already having proven his ability to challenge Verstappen at the start in Silverstone, the team aims to replicate that feat.
Regarding his partnership with Norris, Piastri affirmed his intent to contribute to a robust team effort in overcoming Verstappen. However, he acknowledged the difficulty of the task at hand and stressed that it would be a demanding race, different from the previous encounter at Silverstone, with tire degradation being a key factor. Piastri emphasized the importance of tire management and the potential for multiple pit stops during the 53-lap competition.
In conclusion, Piastri’s remarkable front-row start in the Japanese Grand Prix qualifying signals his promising talent as a rookie in Formula 1. Despite the hurdles posed by Verstappen’s dominance, Piastri remains optimistic and determined to leave his mark on this prestigious race. Tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix promises fierce competition and will undoubtedly test the drivers’ skills in tire management and strategic decision-making.
Oscar Piastri earned his first F1 front row start in qualifying for the 2023 F1 Round 17 Japanese Grand Prix, but says he is “disappointed” he could not improve in the final run of Q3. Piastri will make his Suzuka circuit debut this weekend, and was fast throughout qualifying to secure second place on the grid ahead of teammate Lando Norris. He beat his personal best at Silverstone by one earlier this year and became the first rookie to secure a front row position in F1 since 2010.
However, he could not challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Verstappen set the fastest time in all three practices and took a huge pole position by around 6 tenths of a second. “I’m very, very happy,” said Piastri, reflecting on his career-best qualifying performance. “Since yesterday, I thought the weekend was going to go well and I think we made some good changes this morning. The car looked fast in FP3 and I was getting used to the car. Were we able to get the front row “Obviously the gap is a lot bigger than I would have liked, but I’m happy to be second.” Piastri admitted that the McLaren did not have the speed to match Verstappen, but in the final segment Piastri was ahead of the opening He admitted that he was frustrated that he could not beat his time. “Yes, I think the car has had a bit more time,” said Piastri. “After the first sector, I think I was about two tenths behind, but I don’t think I would have found sixty tenths, so in the end it didn’t make much difference . But of course, when your lap times go up, It’s something I want to keep. It was a bit disappointing not to improve on the second lap, but in the end it didn’t matter.” Norris received McLaren’s latest upgrade package at the last Singapore Grand Prix. The MCL60 that Piastri rides have just been updated this weekend. As for updates, Piastri believes the McLaren car is still lacking in the same areas. “I think the strengths are still the same. In the fast corners and the fast corners, you can commit to grip, but I think you still struggle in the same places . So this upgrade is about doing the right things to make the car I think it’s a direction, but obviously there are still some steps to be taken to be the fastest,” explained Piastri. “Honestly, I don’t feel much different to Singapore, but the circuit is so different that it’s hard to judge.” The fast thrill of Suzuka represents one of the toughest challenges of the year, with Piastri in qualifying Naka admitting he is still unused to the speed of the truck. “Throughout qualifying I was still working on things, it’s natural for everyone to get more grip and I was happier in FP3 this morning. I felt a little closer and a little more comfortable.” Piastri added. “When I come back next year I think I’ll be a bit more comfortable again. It takes time, especially around here. Yesterday I had a big moment in the first Degner and it took me a few laps to get going back to the same thing. speed.” Definitely. It was a blow and I believe it cost me everything on Friday and most of today.”Tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix will be the second time this season that two McLarens will mirror Verstappen at the start. Norris passed Verstappen at the start at Silverstone, but eventually finished second behind Verstappen. Asked if he would work with Norris to beat Verstappen on Sunday, Piastri said: “I did my best at Silverstone and I will try to do the same. But it will be difficult.” “I think it will be a tough race, very different to Silverstone in that respect, I think it will be a much more open race.” Like many drivers, Piastri expects tire degradation to be the most important factor in Sunday’s 53-lap. competition. “From yesterday to this weekend, I think the degradation is much higher than at Silverstone, and I think everyone’s tire choices are clearly aimed at more than one pit stop. Max saved three sets of softs. He’s there… he might make four stops!” Piastri said. “It will be a different race to Silverstone in that respect. More and more stops will increase the margin of error and test how well you can manage the tyres. It’s not as simple as going as fast as you can and going flat out.” Oscar Piastri: “The first lap of C3 was very good. I was quite happy with it. I think we could have done a better job in the last chicane. But it was a good lap. On the second lap, the first sector was good, but the next two sectors were not so good, so I’m very happy to finish in 2nd place So far, the team It’s been a very good weekend for us The upgraded car and the car is quick here. I thought we had a good chance but we still had to make it happen So come second. I’m happy, and I’ I’m glad the team came second and third. I’m very happy. “
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