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Oscar Piastri

Piastri frustrated by baffling nature of McLaren rollercoaster

Oscar Piastri has addressed the puzzling nature of the McLaren MCL38, admitting the car has not performed as expected in the last two rounds of the F1 season.

Piastri
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Oscar Piastri has said the fluctuating levels of performance seen by the MCL38 does not appear to correspond with track layout, saying it is something McLaren needs to "understand" more.

Heading into the season, the Woking-based team expected to continue on the trajectory set last year, with a car that excels on high-speed circuits but is more compromised in lower-speed corner profiles.

However, this has not been the case in the two most recent rounds of the current F1 season, at Suzuka and the Shanghai International Circuit, respectively - something the team's 23-year-old driver addressed after the Chinese Grand Prix.

"That's what we need to understand," the Australian told media including RacingNews365 when asked about McLaren's better-than-expected pace in China.

"Clearly, we excel on some days and struggle more on others, and it doesn't really seem to be related to the track layouts at the moment.

"Somewhere like Japan, where we thought we would be quite strong, has honestly probably been our weakest race this year, along with Bahrain. And here [China], where we thought would be our weakest, has probably been our strongest."

'We'll make some inroads into what we need to focus on'

Whilst Piastri was only able to managed an eighth-place finish in Shanghai, team-mate Lando Norris took an unexpected second place, finishing between the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

At the previous round, in Japan, the pair could only achieve fifth and eighth position, despite the form book predicting Suzuka to be a stronger circuit for McLaren than the following round.

Despite the confusing readings, Piastri is set on taking the positives from the situation when possible, as it was in China - even if the nature of the situation is "frustrating" for him and the team.

"We need to understand why a bit more. It's obviously a little bit frustrating being so up and down, but I think being up when you expect to be down is very encouraging.

"So [we] just need to fully understand why and I think if we can do that, then we'll make some inroads into what we need to focus on."

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