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Oscar Piastri

McLaren question evidence following contentious decision

Oscar Piastri's lap time deletion in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix has caused quite a stir.

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McLaren boss Andrea Stella feels the evidence against Oscar Piastri's track limits violation during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix was not "adequate". 

In Q3, Piastri set a lap which would have been good enough for third on the grid, but it was quickly deleted for running wide at Turn 6, relegating the Australian to seventh. 

McLaren appealed against the results on Saturday evening, but the FIA dismissed the protest, meaning the lap time deletion stood. 

Modifications have been made to the Red Bull Ring for this year's race in the form of gravel strips on the exits of Turns 6, 9 and 10 after 1,200 infringements were detected in last year's race, resulting in the classification being confirmed five hours after the chequered flag.

The gravel has helped to sharply reduce violations, but team principal Stella believes the evidence against Piastri was not conclusive either way.

"What we use is a fixed camera and a helicopter view, and we really appreciate the massive efforts to enforce the regulations," Stella told media, including RacingNews365, before the protest was rejected.

"But I don't think we can say that the resolution is adequate. 

"We had the case last year in Qatar when Lando was spotted beyond track limits by the helicopter view - and that was a clear resolution and accurate. 

"The car was outside [the white lines], no point [in arguing], so thank you very much and we move forward - but in this case, everything is blurred and affected by the shadow.

"There is quite a lot to come here, compete, put in the qualifying lap and when the penalty is so severe, we need to make sure that the penalty is enforced beyond any reasonable doubt."

Stella praises track limits

However, Stella did speak out positively of the changes made to the track to address the issue of track limits. Full gravel traps have not been possible to the track also hosting MotoGP. 

Stella is hopeful the Piastri case and others can be used as a force for good going forward.

"There has been good progress in terms of being able to self-police the track limits in Austria," he said. "It has been good work by the FIA, teams and drivers that collaborated to achieve the solution.

"The reality is that the problem can manifest itself in so many different ways that even if you make good progress, there's still room to improve. 

"So I think with the case of Oscar, and some other cases, it should be used to fine-tune the solution that has been put in place, which is a good step forward."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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