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Oscar Piastri

Piastri 'fortunate' not to be punished further for qualifying mistakes

The Melbourne native will start his home Grand Prix from fifth on the grid, having qualified sixth before Sergio Perez's penalty.

Piastri Australia FP1
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Oscar Piastri has taken responsibility for crucial mistakes in Australian Grand Prix qualifying, believing himself to be "fortunate" not to be further down the grid.

The McLaren driver finished sixth fastest at Albert Park, but was promoted to fifth on the grid after Sergio Perez received a three-place drop for impeding Nico Hulkenberg.

Both Piastri and team-mate Lando Norris impressed through qualifying, with Piastri marginally faster through the first two segments.

However, Norris was able to pull nearly two-tenths on Piastri in Q3 - which the Melbourne-native felt was a mess, owing to poor out-lap preparation.

Piastri owns up

"It has been a pretty solid weekend so far, Q1 and Q2 looked strong, but Q3, first and foremost, I made too many mistakes," Piastri told media including RacingNews365.

"That was the biggest reason of why and where I am, and we could have done a couple of things better in terms of our preparation, and there was also my out-lap preparation.

"There were just too many mistakes when it mattered, and in terms of position, I was somewhat fortunate that I am not further back - it is not a terrible result, it is just a bit disappointing.

"The cars around us look strong so to beat Red Bull or Ferrari, we are going to need to find something extra, or have a bit of good fortune.

"But if we can finish around where we start, and not go further backwards, that would be a good day for us, so we will try our best.

"It is optimistic, but that is where we sit at the moment, and it has been a good step forward as we seem to be a bit quicker than Mercedes and Aston around here, which is better than we were last year."

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