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Oscar Piastri

Piastri downbeat on 'weird grey area' in F1

Oscar Piastri has highlighted the "weird grey area" within F1 that makes him question whether he is a race winner or not after taking sprint victory for McLaren in Qatar last year.

Piastri China
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Oscar Piastri has explained how the "awkward position" he finds himself in is a reason for him not being a "big fan" of F1 sprints.

The 23-year-old won his first race in Qatar last season, but as it was a sprint, he is unsure as to whether that classifies him as a winner in F1.

Sprints have long been a sticking point for drivers, with many voicing opposition to them. However, they look set to stay on the F1 calendar, with more than the current six events being mooted for future seasons.

"I agree with what Lando [Norris] said in that I still prefer a normal race weekend," he said to media at the Chinese Grand Prix when asked by RacingNews365 for his feelings on sprint events in F1.

"It has the opportunity to provide a bit more excitement, and I think we have seen some good sprints in the past. But it's still a bit of a weird grey area.

"Is it a race, is it not a race? I made the example last year when in Qatar, like: am I a race winner, am I not a race winner?"

'It creates some oddities'

The McLaren driver explained how the ambiguity over the standing of sprints in the hierarchy of F1 career achievement creates "oddities" for him as the only driver currently in that position.

Since the format was first introduced in 2021, two years prior to Piastri's F1 debut, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and George Russell have all taken sprint victories.

However, as they have each also won at least one grand prix, they are easily classed as F1 winners - something Piastri fears he is not.

Whilst Russell was in the same situation as Piastri when he won his sprint, the Mercedes driver subsequently took the main race victory the following day at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

"It's a very kind of awkward position to be in, let's say. It creates some oddities," added the Australian. "I guess that's where most of my thing with it is a bit – I'm not a big fan."

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