Piastri says loss of pace in Q3 for McLaren “frustrating” as he starts P7 for F1 Mexico GP

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The 2023 Mexican Grand Prix brought its own set of challenges for Oscar Piastri. In the practice sessions, he displayed a strong pace that hinted at a potentially favourable outcome. However, when the end of the session approached, things didn’t go quite as planned.

Oscar Piastri
Photo Credit: Mclaren F1 Team

At the start of the session, Piastri’s pace was very comparable to the top runners as he was P2 in Q1 behind Max Verstappen. However, Q3 became a segment with multiple challenges for the Australian driver. As the qualifying session drew to a close, Piastri had to settle for a seventh-place finish.

After the session, he expressed how he had felt that his performance in the last qualifying round fell away, and this left him frustrated.

“I think the pace before Q3 was strong.

“It just didn’t really come together in Q3, and I don’t really know why. I think that’s probably the most frustrating part at the moment.

“We’ll have a look and see what I could have done differently, whether we should have done something with the car, but yeah, just didn’t seem to find the step in pace that everyone else did.”

Moreover, when asked about what factors led to this surprising decline in performance, he believed multiple factors played a role.

“I think a combination of things, with the altitude, it’s very downforce, so it’s very easy for a small mistake to turn into a big mistake.

“The nature of the track, it’s a lot of slow corners and the sequences that make it even more costly, in Q3 I think the track got a bit worse than the last part as well.”

Piastri anticipates a difficult race as he starts between the Mercedes’ of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

“To be honest, I think a lot of the cars around us [are threats].

“I think they’re all going to be quick around us, so it’s going to be difficult to overtake, but we’ll try our best.”