Piastri says last couple of events “probably two of my better weekends in F1” as he finishes a solid P4 in Imola GP

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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From the outset of the Imola GP weekend, Oscar Piastri’s performance has been nothing short of impressive. 

His strong qualifying, alongside him gettinf McLaren’s newest upgrade package in full, helped him to claim a very competitive position on the starting grid, but a grid penalty meant Piastri ultimately started from the third row in P5.

He received the 3-place grid drop for impeding Kevin Magnussen during Q1.

Whilst his teammate Lando Norris secured P2 in the race, Piastri missed out on the podium places, claiming that “it was basically impossible to overtake today” as he started further back the grid, despite the pace being “really good.”

In the first stint the Melbourne driver was parked in Carlos Sainz’s DRS zone but could not find a way by as it’s virtually impossible to stay close through the last 2 corners before opening the DRS flap.

Ulimately he cleared the Spanish driver as McLaren got the undercut to take P4. That’s where he finished.

“I had like 20 laps behind Carlos trying to get past and just could never get close enough.”

Reflecting on his performance within the car, Piastri was honest in stating, “I don’t think there was much more I could have done.”

Unable to capitalise on the pace he displayed on Saturday, he noted the changes made to the DRS zone in 2024 and how it impacted any opportunity to pass someone on the same age of tyre.

“We made DRS shorter this year. I hope they make it longer again, because clearly, I don’t know what the rest of the race was like, but it was pretty boring for me.

“I think that was the most we could have done today really, which is a bit of a shame considering how much pace we’ve had this weekend.”

Piastri reflected on the ups and downs of the weekend, acknowledging the disappointment of not reaching the podium, whilst noting that it was ultimately due to his starting position due to a penalty for the race.

Nonetheless, he’s been really pleased with his speed and consistency over the last couple of events.

“Unfortunately, it was a consequence of where we started.

“The last two weekends have been really good as a team, obviously, but I think personally they’ve been very strong as well. I think probably two of my better weekends in F1. So, I’ve been happy with how I’ve been performing.

“I think I’ve been confident from the first lap of practice, and, you know, had a really good qualifying. It’s just a shame about the penalty because I think it’s, unfortunately limited what we could have done.”

Following Norris’s maiden win in Miami, and alongside the team’s upgrade package, Piastri noted that: “I want to be getting some better results.”

The drivers’ performance is a testament to the effort of the wider McLaren team, who have been fine-tuning the MCL38 during the upgrade process, making the car “nicer to drive.”

He has not had the best of luck at times in his short career so far, but the 23-year-old is certain things will come his way if he keeps putting himself in the right position.

“I’m sure if I keep doing the right things, then that time will come. So, I’m very, very happy. The team are giving us plenty of opportunities now to score podiums and wins.

“It’s pretty exciting to be genuinely able to say we can fight for wins.”

Talking about the differences that the upgrades have made, Piastri claimed that he can feel the differences in the car, that the balance has improved, and whilst the car’s high speed isn’t as strong as it once was, their “low speed is a lot stronger than it has been.”

Chief executive of McLaren, Zak Brown, spoke of his support for Piastri, noting that whilst the team was to blame for his grid penalty, the drivers did incredibly well overall.

“Oscar did an awesome job in qualifying yesterday. We made a mistake, which meant he had to start P5.

“I think had Oscar been able to start on the front row, then I think we would have had two cars on the podium.”