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Oscar Piastri

McLaren explain why Piastri faded in Hungary

After running second early in the race, Oscar Piastri faded to fifth by the chequered flag.

Piastri Hungary
Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has explained Oscar Piastri was not aware that he had incurred damage during Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Piastri ran as high as second in the early stages of the race, having passed both Lewis Hamilton and teammate Lando Norris on Lap 1, but the Australian dropped to fifth by the finish, while Norris took the chequered flag in second place, almost half a minute ahead of Piastri.

While Piastri had suggested that excessive tyre degradation was the reason for his lack of performance in the latter half of the race, Stella explained that the Australian had unknowingly incurred damage that contributed to his fading pace.

"Oscar had damage on his car, and this meant that he lost a few tenths from a performance point of view, but also, because this was rear downforce, I think this caused extra degradation of the tyres," Stella told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"That's part of the reason why he struggled then to keep up with with Lando, and also with the other cars coming behind him.

"We think the damage happened running wide on a curb [or] when he went off track while fighting with [Sergio] Perez [who finished third], so there may be both times that this damage to the car happened."

Improving tyre management

While Stella's explanation may go some way towards explaining Piastri's slow pace in the latter stages of the race, the Italian added that the Australian rookie's tyre management may need some improvement.

"We also need to look at how the tyres were used," Stella said.

"How much of a price did we pay by pushing at the start of the stint in terms of overall degradation through the stint?

"If you see how [Lewis] Hamilton approaches, he goes very, very slow at the start, and then there's a premium coming back at the end of the stint.

"It's always difficult from inside the cockpit to understand what impact the early laps of a stint will have towards the end."

F1 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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