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Oscar Piastri

Piastri relief after damage to 'sensitive part' in Monaco

Oscar Piastri has underlined multiple factors that minimised the effect of his floor damage at Monaco.

Piastri podium Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Oscar Piastri has highlighted the minimising factors that allowed him to take second-place at the Monaco Grand Prix, despite damage to a "sensitive" part. 

The 23-year-old took damage to his floor at the start of the race before the red flag intervention for the incident between Sergio Perez and the two Haas'. This allowed McLaren to fix his floor as best it could during the 45 minute delay to proceedings in Monte Carlo.

The Australian lined up alongside pole-sitter and eventually winner Charles Leclerc on the front row. Heading out of the first corner, Sainte Devote, Piastri was tagged by Carlos Sainz.

The Ferrari driver suffered a puncture and looked to be out, pulling up at Turn 4, Casino, as the rest of the field filed past. However, the red flag provided the Spaniard a second chance - much like it did to Piastri, who explained the extent of the damage to his McLaren.

"I definitely felt the touch at Turn 1 and at that part of the car, it's such a sensitive part," he told media including RacingNews365. "The team told me how much downforce I was losing before we tried to fix it and it was a pretty big number. 

"I don't know what we managed to get it down to but yeah, obviously the length of the red flag helped us out quite a lot there. And being in Monaco, it's probably the one track where having damage doesn't hurt you as much. 

"It was a very, very small touch, but with these cars, especially with the floor being so sensitive to the downforce it generates, it can ruin your race very easily. So, yeah, I was very happy we could try and fix it."

'It was impossible to tell what the penalty of that was'

The red flag stoppage not only allowed Piastri to have his McLaren repaired and for Sainz to restart the race from his original third-place grid slot, it also allowed the remaining pack to take its one mandatory pit stop during the break.

This resulted in a processional race, with the front four cars all easing towards the chequered flag for the remaining 76 laps of the grand prix. 

With tyre management a concern, the leading quartet kept the slower-than-usual pace - something that prevented Piastri from accurately accessing the damage to his car. 

"It was okay," he replied when asked how the performance of his McLaren was after the incident with Sainz. "I think for the first half of the race, it was impossible to tell what the penalty of that was. 

"I think towards the end, probably a combination of trying to keep the pace of the race reasonably quick, plus the floor, [I] just struggled a little bit towards the end, but overall pretty happy with it. And yeah, the last 10 laps or so, I was pretty happy we were in Monaco."

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