Oscar Piastri feared that Max Verstappen would trouble him for the race victory during the sprint race in Qatar.
Piastri started the shorter Saturday event from the head of the field and held the lead on the opening lap. However, he found himself behind George Russell who made use of his Soft compound to overtake Piastri on the Mediums after the Safety Car restart.
The Soft runners struggled later in the race, which allowed Piastri to re-take the position ahead of Russell.
Verstappen progressed up to second place after a lacklustre opening lap, but couldn't challenge Piastri in the final laps for the win.
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“I'm very happy,” Piastri said. “It was a very stressful race.
“When all the Soft guys came through at the start I thought we were in a bit of trouble.
“Then their tyres fell off pretty quickly, so that was good. The Safety Car was my friend today once Max got behind me, but the pace was reasonable.
“And I think in a race where you had to manage a lot, the tyres, cars and other compounds, I think we did a really good job. So we're very happy.
“Anything you can try and learn for [the Grand Prix] is going to be important as well.
“I thought once he [Verstappen] got through into second, I was going to be in a bit of trouble.
“But the pace was good, I managed the tyres well. A first Sprint win sounds pretty cool.”