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Oscar Piastri

Piastri blames 'snowball' effect for recent struggle

Oscar Piastri has detailed how setup changes over the Spanish GP snowballed into further tweaks, leading to a weekend in which he struggled compared to McLaren team-mate Lando Norris.

Piastri Austria
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Oscar Piastri insists McLaren has some "pretty clear answers" to help understand what caused his off-colour weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old struggled at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and has now revealed that decisions made on car setup caused a "snowball" effect, with some choices leading to far greater downstream impacts.

Whilst it was not the Australian's worst result of the season, his seventh-place finish was secured on arguably his worst weekend of the year, when there was a clear delta in performance to Lando Norris.

Two mistakes in Q3 meant Piastri qualified 10th. Meanwhile, his team-mate took pole position, which was converted into a third second-place in the last four rounds, along with the extra point for the fastest lap.

Ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Piastri underlined the accumulative effect of wrong decisions taken across the weekend in Spain. However, the one-time sprint winner is confident the team has "got on top of" those choices, and the consequences of them.

"Yeah, I think we do," Piastri responded to media including RacingNews365 when asked if he now has an explanation for his poor Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

"There were definitely some things on car setup that certainly caused some problems. Some things were not major, but had much bigger consequences than maybe we thought at the time.

"There's definitely a lot of evidence to support why I struggled a bit more, definitely a couple of things in terms of driving, as well. But I think we've we've got some pretty clear answers.

"Talking and looking through the offline simulations of some of the effects of certain things, which then led to other decisions, and you can snowball pretty quickly in situations like that. I think we've certainly got on top of some of the decisions we made - and I guess some of the consequences of them."

Downstream implications for Piastri

Piastri explained that whilst there are "never major" differences between the cars, once changes are made, that can trigger problems elsewhere. In short, setup changes breed further tweaks, which can result in big differences between both MCL38s. 

Despite his Spanish setback, the Australian is confident he can return to form in Austria, where he hopes to start the third sprint weekend of the season "on the front foot" after considerable work by McLaren to understand the nature of the issues.

"I think in terms of setup differences, it's never major things, and even some of the setup decisions we made were not major things, but had consequences that led to further decisions," he said.

"And suddenly a small difference can become quite big. So, we had the whole team working on trying to sort it out. I think it's probably the first time there's been such a big difference like that.

"I think we're all pretty confident we've gotten on top of it, and looking forward to starting on the front foot this weekend hopefully."

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