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Oscar Piastri

Buoyant Piastri issues warning after weakness-busting McLaren improvements

Oscar Piastri was pleased with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend amid recent McLaren improvements - despite any chance of a stronger finish being ruined by his qualifying penalty.

Piastri pre race
To news overview © XPBimages

Oscar Piastri expressed confidence he has built "good momentum" during recent Formula 1 races after a second consecutive strong weekend for McLaren.

The Australian believes this, coupled with a step forward for the team, means the Papaya squad is able to fight for wins across a range of situations - highlighting that recent development has made the team more competitive at circuits and in conditions where it previously would have struggled.

The Woking-based outfit brought extensive upgrades to the previous round, in Miami, which vaulted team-mate Lando Norris to his first grand prix victory.

Having received the full scope of the updates himself in Imola, Piastri is confident about the direction he and the team are headed in.

"Miami felt like a really strong weekend. Here felt really strong," the 23-year-old told media including RacingNews365 after finishing the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in fourth position.

"I think that was the most we could have got out of the race, so for me personally, I'm very happy - I feel like I've built a bit of good momentum in the last two weekends, which is something I've been trying to aim for a bit more.

"And I think as a team, we're proving in different tracks, different conditions - which are generally conditions we've struggled in, in the past - that we're there in the fight for wins."

'Clearly we're there'

Whilst team-mate Norris came close to claiming consecutive race wins, ultimately finishing in second-place and less than a second behind Max Verstappen, it was a case of what might have been for Piastri.

Having initially qualified on the front row of the grid, a post-session penalty for impeding Kevin Magnussen dropped him to fifth.

The Australian worked his way past Carlos Sainz by under-cutting him in the pits, after putting pressure on the Ferrari for much of the first stint.

However, Piastri knew he was in for a long race after his Saturday sanction and chose to focus on the promise of McLaren's upward trajectory.

"There's always gonna be ifs and buts," he said when asked if his weekend was frustrating, given his team's race pace. "I knew after qualifying that it was going to be pretty painful, and today definitely proved it.

"There's a lot of positive things and encouragement to take from this week. I think as a team, clearly we're there. 

“And I think, personally, the last two weekends, I feel like I've been really strong as well."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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