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Oscar Piastri

Spanish GP more of a 'test' for others than McLaren - Piastri

Oscar Piastri feels the Spanish GP, and its ability to benchmark developmental progress, will be more of a test for other teams than it will be for McLaren.

Piastri Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

Oscar Piastri believes the Spanish Grand Prix will prove to be a litmus test, but feels that may be more the case of other teams than McLaren.

The 23-year-old says he is "pretty confident" the Woking-based squad will be in "the mix" at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

McLaren finds itself in a tight front quartet with Red Bull, Ferrari and recently Mercedes as the Brackley team has closed the gap to the leading group in the past couple of rounds.

Compared to the dominant fashion in which it started the season, Red Bull has struggled since the chasing pack started introducing updates from the Miami Grand prix onwards. It is expected to somewhat return to form in Spain where aerodynamic efficiency will be more important than kerb-riding ability.

Along with the Spanish GP being considered a good benchmark for overall performance, the trip to Barcelona has been circled on the calendar as a critical test for teams on how their upgrade paths are faring. Piastri, however, does not think that necessarily includes McLaren.

"It will be a test, yes," the Australian driver agreed when speaking to media including RacingNews365 about whether the weekend would be a litmus test for performance and car development progress.

"I don't know if it's so much a test necessarily for us as it is for others, potentially. I think we should be pretty confident we'll be somewhere in the mix."

Piastri eager to see where McLaren 'stack up'

Despite suggesting McLaren has already proven the effectiveness of its upgrade path, Piastri is intrigued to see where all the teams are in terms of relative performance given it is the first time F1 has raced at a more conventional track for a number of rounds.

McLaren carried its strong Miami and Imola form into the Monaco Grand Prix, running Ferrari close all weekend, but ultimately having to settle for second and fourth position, with Piastri out-performing Lando Norris.

The Briton had the measure of the Australian in Montreal, however, taking a third top-two finish in the past four rounds, narrowly missing out on victory to Max Verstappen, as he did at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Given this run of form, Piastri is keen to see how the teams "stack up" at a circuit with considerably more high-speed corners.

"The last two weekends have been quite similar in some of their characteristics, quite low speed corners, some kerbs and bumps to take into account, but the few tracks before that were quite different," the one-time sprint winner said. "I would say here is different again, like much more high-speed content. 

"So it will be interesting to see where we sit. It's been a while since we've had really high-speed corners like the last sector and Turn 9, Turn 3. So it will be interesting to see where we stack up."

Also interesting:

Join Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, looking ahead to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. 

The trio discuss how significant this weekend is in the title fight, whether Red Bull's advantage will return and if Andrea Kimi Antonelli will now make his F1 debut at just 17 years old. Much, much more is also discussed! 

Rather watch then listen to our podcast? Click here.

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