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Oscar Piastri

Piastri sets sights on Verstappen after securing front row

Can the McLaren driver challenge F1's championship leader on the opening lap?

Verstappen Piastri Japan
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri has set his sights on leading the Japanese Grand Prix into Turn 1 after securing a front row start in qualifying.

The Australian rookie out-qualified teammate Lando Norris to finish best of the rest behind Max Verstappen after the Red Bull driver dominated to take pole by over half a second.

Neither McLaren was able to improve on the second lap of Q3 but was still able to stay ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez as they bettered their efforts.

"The first lap was pretty solid, I was pretty happy with it," explained Piastri.

"The last chicane... I could have done a better job but it was a good lap and then on my second lap, the first sector was good and the next two sectors not so good.

"So happy to end it in P2, it has been a very good weekend for the team so far, with upgrades on the car and yeah, they are quick.

"We thought we might have a decent chance around here but you have still got to make it happen, so happy to be second and for the team to be second and third, [I am] very very happy."

Sights on Verstappen

Piastri challenged Verstappen for the lead in the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint before the summer break and when asked about his chances entering the first corner on Sunday, he replied: "It is the first time I have started on the front row for a while.

"It'll be cool because there's only one car I have to overtake, so I will try to make that happen..."

F1 2023 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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