“We weren’t getting into the points on pace today,” says Piastri on starting on softs in Miami

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The Miami Grand Prix was a disappointment for the McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri.

The Australian driver talked about the “challenging afternoon” to the media, led by a change in the strategy which ultimately did not lead to the desired results, ending with Piastri in 19th position.

The Melbourne driver did have a great opening lap, gaining four spots using the soft tyre. Ultimately that strategy did not pay off as McLaren lacked pace in Miami.

“It was a calculated risk on the strategy [starting on softs]. We went into the race with two hard tyres, tried something a bit different because, to be honest, we weren’t getting into the points on pace today.

“So yeah, tried something different and it didn’t really work. It worked on the first lap, I gained a lot of positions at the start.

“A challenging afternoon but we had to try something on the strategy.”

Miami has proven to be quite a lukewarm track for a lot of fans around the world. Piastri says it’s certainly not a favourite of his.

“It’s not my favourite track, I’ll be honest. I think the first sector is quite cool with all the high speed sections but the second half of the lap with all the really slow, clunky bits… I think in these cars it’s really quite slow and awkward. A lot of the corners are blind and over crests, so you actually can’t see half the corners.

“And the track surface, I mean..I didn’t drive last year but it looks like a million times better then last year, but still just very low grip, especially off the line.

“It’s sort of in the middle of my track list I would say.”

Piastri also faced a sudden brake-by-wire failure during the race, hampering his pace massively and forcing him to survive until the end.

“About three or four laps after the pitstop, I had a BBW failure, with some other failures as well. So that was why the pace was so terrible after that. I had a brake pedal that was about 2 metres long it felt like.

“I haven’t spoken to the engineers, it was sudden. Hit the brakes one lap and the brake pedal just went to the floor. We need to understand why. I’m not sure it was just a BBW issue, we had some other issues as well going on. We need to find what went wrong.

“It was good switch practice, that’s for sure. I’m glad we did extensive work on that in testing. It paid off today in some ways. It was nice to learn and deal with those situations.

“Obviously if we’re in a points position, it’s really important that you can do that seamlessly. I think I managed it quite well, but I’d rather not have to manage it.”

Photo credit: @McLarenF1