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Oscar Piastri

Piastri defends 'completely fair' McLaren after home podium miss

Oscar Piastri was asked to allow Lando Norris to overtake him for third place during the Australian Grand Prix.

Piastri Australia race
To news overview © XPBimages

Oscar Piastri has jumped to the defence of McLaren and has insisted the use of team orders during the race was "completely fair" despite the fact it cost him a potential podium on home soil.

The McLaren driver started the Australian Grand Prix in fifth but quickly inherited fourth after Max Verstappen retired following a right-rear brake issue that led to a fire.

Fourth eventually became third following the opening round of pit stops as the Australian undercut team-mate Lando Norris, who ran deeper into the race on his opening stint by five laps to give him fresher tyres mid-race.

This meant his pace was considerably better than that of Piastri, leading to the team instructing the 22-year-old to hand over third spot to Norris in the hope he could catch the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and, in particular, Charles Leclerc. In the end, Piastri finished 30 seconds adrift of the Briton.

"For me, it was completely fair," Piastri told select media, including RacingNews365. "He qualified in front of me yesterday, he went a bit longer on the first stop, he was catching me and quicker at that point of the race.

"At that point, I was keeping with Leclerc, and Lando was catching both of us. So I was honestly kind of hoping he'd pass me and go and get Charles. But yeah, I mean, that was completely fair.

"Of course, at home, I would have loved to be able to stay in third but for me, it was completely fair."

'Frustrating' mistakes

Piastri struggled in the closing stages of his home race, going on to make a costly error at the penultimate corner on lap 39 of the 58.

The Australian locked up and ran onto the grass, graining his tyres in the process and losing him several seconds.

On reflection, he added: "A couple of mistakes when it mattered, which is a bit frustrating. But today's been a solid result.

"A little bit of an off at the end of the second stint, and I grained the tyres a little bit there as well. I just struggled a bit in that part of the race. Apart from that, it was a pretty strong day."

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