Piastri “excited for Imola” as Norris’ F1 Miami GP win for McLaren “a very encouraging sign for the rest of the year”

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Piastri ended his tough race in Miami with a 13th place finish due to an unfortunate on-track incident with Carlos Sainz on lap 39. The Ferrari man attempted to overtake the Australian driver into turn 17, which resulted in contact and front wing damage for Piastri.

After boxing and a front wing change, the 23-year-old re-entered the race back in 19th. 

When asked about the turn 17 incident between Sainz and himself, Piastri responded by saying he was yet to see a replay so he is unsure if the Spaniard was at fault and deserved a penalty. 

Post-race, the stewards decided Sainz was deserving of a 5s penalty along with a penalty point on his super license for the incident. The 3-time Grand Prix winner lost the rear as he tried to complete the move and clipped Piastri’s wing.

“So, yeah, I need to have a look first.”

The Australian was running in 3rd out of turn 1 on the first lap as he gained three spots thanks to Perez’s out of control Red Bull.

He soon found himself in 2nd as he overtook Leclerc on lap 4, before dropping back to 4th when this incident with Sainz occurred. The Melbourne born driver had been undercut by Leclerc and obviously lost out to Norris with the Safety Car.

Piastri stated that he was happy to have gotten past Leclerc early on and felt quite comfortable with the Monegasque behind him, although he believes this was unexpected for him. 

“I was happy with the start and then the fact that I could get past Leclerc as well was unexpected coming into the race.

“So, yeah, at that point I was quite happy and was, yeah, reasonably comfortable with him behind me there. Just, yeah, the timing of the Safety Car wasn’t ideal.”

The McLarens both showed quite great pace in Miami, with Piastri’s car not having the full spec of updates Norris’ car had. It was costing him around 0.2s a lap according to the team.

Miami proved to have tricky track conditions, but Piastri was very pleased with the pace they both showed on the day, suggesting Max Verstappen might not have it all his own way this season.

“I think in these conditions of this track, the pace we had today was unexpected. I think we don’t fully understand why.

“We’re a bit up and down on different days, but, yeah, I think the fact that we can win a race on pace is a very, very encouraging sign for the rest of the year.

“I think even with the car that I had, I think we were very strong as well, so, yeah, excited for Imola.”

While Piastri did not have the greatest of weekends last race out in Shanghai either, with yet another incident — started by Lance Stroll — causing damage to his car and effectively ruining his race, he still landed himself in a points paying position of 8th, despite extensive diffuser damage that saw him struggle. 

Piastri hopes that the negative results in China and Miami will not follow him into Imola. He will finally receive the rest of the new McLaren upgrades that his teammate ran this weekend.

Considering the improvement of not only the car’s but his performance since the beginning of last season on race pace and tyre management, he should be right in the mix if McLaren continues to show their strong pace. 

“I think for me China was a bit of an odd one out, to be honest, I’ve been quite happy with the step I made from last season.”

With the new upgrades for the Australian in consideration, when asked if he would be getting the next win for McLaren, Piastri responded with a cheery: “I hope so!”