McLaren will be “looking out on both ends” says Piastri after qualifying P5 in between Mercedes and Aston Martin at F1 Saudi Arabian GP

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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After qualifying P5 for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, out qualifying his teammate Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri was “pretty happy.”

In the interview with Formula One, the McLaren driver said, “That was pretty much the most we could’ve got out of that session. The car felt pretty good, I feel like my driving was pretty good — apart from when I was ‘clipping walls’”.

Piastri reiterated his excursions to the limit humorously, “I decided to see if the wall at the last corner has moved anywhere. It definitely hadn’t.”

Oscar Piastri also accepted that he might have gone over the limit throughout the Saudi Arabian race weekend.

“I think I just tried to push the limits of it too much. Hit a couple of walls this weekend, which has not been ideal.

But from that side of things it was pretty normal and straightforward,” Piastri expressed.

He felt the session could’ve gone a bit better if Piastri himself had driven better. He was quick to suggest that the car set-up perhaps was not as ideal, to his own shortcomings.

Maybe we could have done – well, just could have driven a little bit better and not hit a wall – but I think also the way we set up the car earlier in the weekend, maybe we didn’t expose some of the limitations that I had in qualifying.

So I had to get used to that a little bit, which didn’t help.”

The McLaren driver questioned the set-up choice for the weekend, suggesting McLaren might have taken the conservative route in practice sessions and then a touch too liberal, in qualifying.

Purely on the setup side of things, we maybe weren’t aggressive enough in practice with certain things and, in qualifying, maybe we overdid it a little bit and over-compensated and had to wind it back a bit,” he explained.

That’s mainly the limitation. I think the car still has the same limitations as when we go elsewhere, but maybe just the track grip here and the circuit layout helps us out a little bit.”

When asked whether he could take the fight to the front runners of Saturday’s night grid, Piastri felt that it was not on the cards. However, he would not shy away from battling it out with Fernando Alonso.

Maybe Fernando… Red Bull and Ferrari are too far ahead, so we’ll see.

“I think, maybe we can take the fight to Aston Martin and Fernando, but you know, Mercedes are also going to be quick behind us. So, we’ll be looking out on both ends.”