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Piastri frustrated after McLaren F1 pace proves “really good surprise”

Oscar Piastri admitted he could have got more out of the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix after his McLaren proved more competitive than expected on race day.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren

Oscar Piastri, McLaren

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

A disappointing qualifying for the Woking team saw the Australian start only 18th, but after avoiding the first corner mayhem he made good progress up the order and even ran in third place.

However, the strategy of running the opening two stints on hard tyres after a clash with Lewis Hamilton triggered a premature first pit visit and obliged him to make a late pitstop for mediums under green flag conditions.

That dropped him down the order, although he managed to recover to 10th place while also logging the bonus point for the fastest lap.

Asked by Autosport if he could have got more out of the race with a different strategy, he said: "Yeah, I think so. I think the timing of the safety car was pretty much perfect for the guys who stayed out on mediums at the start.

“You look at [Esteban] Ocon, and it worked perfectly for him, and I was really wishing the rule of using two compounds didn't exist, because I would've just gone to the end on the hards and I think we had the pace to hang on to P4, so that was a shame.

“But the pace of the car was a really good surprise. I think yesterday [qualifying] wasn't particularly representative of our pace, but today [race] was probably better than we expected, so we need to understand what the difference was.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

“A lot of teams seemed to be incredibly different from yesterday - Williams we thought would be quite quick today and weren't. A few things to look at, but it almost feels we deserved a bit more than P10.”

Commenting on the lap 16 contact with Hamilton which left both drivers with punctures, Piastri added: “It was kind of just an awkward one. Neither of us had really committed to the corner that much, and then we both committed at the last minute and then I was trying to back out of it.

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“But we just ended up meeting in the middle, so I had a puncture from that. I don't think it really hurt our race that much, in all honesty.

“It would have been interesting to see if a one-stop could've worked from that point, but it's always hard to know.

“We would have been a sitting duck like [Pierre] Gasly, pretty much. A lot of things for a lot of people went wrong in that race, and I think I was in the same boat."

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