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Oscar Piastri

How Piastri put himself 'in the firing line' to aid Norris

The McLaren driver was challenging for a podium late on in Canada before falling to fifth.

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Oscar Piastri has detailed how he put himself in the "firing line" from Mercedes to aid Lando Norris's Canadian Grand Prix podium push. 

After the safety car for the Carlos Sainz-Alex Albon incident, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton both pitted from third and fifth for fresh tyres, as the new leading trio of Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Piastri stayed out. 

On the restart, Verstappen bolted as Norris then led the train of four cars, but gapped Piastri just outside of the DRS range when it was re-activated.

In the end, both Russell and Hamilton swept past the DRS-less Piastri, who was asked if it was an idea considered for Norris to drop back and give the Australian the extra boost, but it was something Piastri felt would have cost Norris a podium.

"It is what I wanted, but I am not sure it would have been the best call as a team," Piastri explained to media including RacingNews365.

"It would have meant that the Mercedes were just closer to Lando, as once they got past me, at the end of the race, they were over a second faster per lap.

"At that point in the race, it would have been helpful, but I'm not sure it would have been the right decision 

"George made a bit of a mistake and we had a battle, and then he had a bit of a battle with Lewis, so I think without that, they probably would have finished second and third, anyway.

"To be honest, I wasn't really concerned about Max at that point - I felt I was keeping with Lando and we were just kind of going together, but I knew the Mercedes were going to be quick with new tyres."

Mercedes 'on a mission'

Using the DRS, Russell attempted to pass Piastri on Lap 63, the two making contact at the final chicane, with Hamilton scything past on two laps later on the brakes for the same turn. 

Russell did so a lap later, with Piastri describing how he realised the two were "on a mission" as he took fifth behind Russell in third and Hamilton in fourth after the pole-sitter passed his seven-time champion team-mate on Lap 68 of 70.

"It was really close until I got behind the Mercedes and realised that they were on a mission - and it would have been incredibly tough to keep them behind all the way until the end," he said.

"I was the first car in the firing line for them and I tried my best to stay in front, but they were clearly a lot quicker than everybody. 

"It is disappointing as we were looking like having a podium for quite a while, but it is still a decent haul of points. 

"On a weekend where it could have gone so wrong, like it did for others, to come out with so many points was a good result."

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