Andrea Stella praises Oscar Piastri’s “extremely encouraging” F1 tyre management gains

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella praised the current form of Oscar Piastri and highlighted the Australian racer’s tyre management as one of the factors which have seen him develop his race management compared to his rookie season.

This year’s Australian Grand Prix concluded with McLaren celebrating their first podium of the season after P3 for Lando Norris. Teammate Oscar Piastri continues to impress and crossed the line P4 on home soil. The form of Piastri coupled with that of Lando Norris means that McLaren have 55 points which is their most points after 3 rounds since 2012. Team Principal Andrea Stella recently praised the race management of the Australian racer (no longer a rookie).

Piastri was always set to make a name for himself after being one of the few Formula 2 Champions in recent years to actually get an opportunity on a regular starting grid in the pinnacle of motorsport. In remarks shared with media, after seeing Piastri finish P4 in Melbourne, Stella reflected on his driver’s style of driving.

“Even compared to last year in Australia, or even Japan, and other places at the start of the season, we’ve gone a long way forward,” Stella claimed. “It’s extremely encouraging to think that this is only coming at the start of the second season. When he was driving the tyres around, I think he was feeling that if you overdo the front tyre a little bit, then the tyres are not going to be happy from a graining point of view.”

The man in charge of taking McLaren back to the front of the grid, also commented on Piastri’s proactive approach to situations.

“When I talk about adapting, it’s not adapting to when a problem starts. This is adapting to prevent the problem to start,” explained Stella. “You sort of have to understand from the context that, ‘Oh, this context would lead to this problem’ before the problem actually manifests itself.

“When you are a rookie, you need to sort of lead into the problem and then realise how you got there. So, I think that’s the mechanism where he is now. Much more aware that some conditions will lead to some problems. It’s a fine-tuning, almost like a self-calibration exercise through experience.” Stella concluded.

McLaren’s pair of drivers are in fine form and now head to Japan. Last year, their effort in Suzuka saw the team secure a double podium for Norris and Piastri – P2 and P3 respectively. Now, the Papaya Army will see their team arrive in 2024 at the venue of such a historical moment with a 29-point over Mercedes and P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing

Of course, it is only round 4 of a record breaking twenty-four race season and with that in mind, there is plenty of time for a team to turn their fortune around. McLaren will be hoping their rivals don’t achieve the feat they managed to last year after such a sluggish start. It cannot be forgotten that McLaren only had 12 points during this period last year but still finished the 2023 season with 302 point and P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.

For now, confidence is surely high, as must be expectation, that another podium trophy will be heading to the team’s base of operations – the MTC in Woking – sooner rather than later.

Photo Credits: McLaren Racing