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Oscar Piastri

Piastri voices 'frustration' over Hamilton F1 battle

Oscar Piatri claimed a strong fourth place result at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but spent much of the race tucked in behind the rear wing of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

Piastri Hamilton Saudi Arabia
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Oscar Piastri has admitted frustration after being unable to overtake Lewis Hamilton for position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Piastri ended the race in fourth place to secure his best result since his podium finish in Qatar last year.

Much of the Australian driver's race in Jeddah was spent following the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who opted to extend his opening stint and not pit when a Safety Car was called following a crash for Lance Stroll on lap 7.

McLaren highlighted earlier in the race weekend that it was down on straight-line performance compared to its rivals, particularly in the DRS zones.

Its disadvantage was evident when Piastri was unable to overtake Hamilton despite several attempts at Turn 1.

The 22-year-old was eventually released when the seven-time World Champion pitted on lap 36, setting up an unchallenged run to the finish line.

“I'm not sure fun is the word I would use [to describe the battle],” Piastri told media including RacingNews365.

“Frustrating, yes. I think it kind of just showed a couple of weaknesses of ours, definitely.

“I was very relieved when he boxed out of the way. I just didn't quite have enough on the straights to get past.”

McLaren and Mercedes 'very even'

McLaren currently sits third in the championship standings following the opening two rounds, two points ahead of Mercedes.

While insisting that the McLaren and Mercedes challengers have different performance characteristics, Piastri believes the Jeddah race showcased how close the battle is between the two teams.

“I think it's very, very even,” he said. “We have different strengths and weaknesses, for sure.

“Qualifying made the difference. Lewis showed that if we qualified behind them, there was a good chance we were going to be stuck behind them for the whole night.

“So I think it's very, very tight between us. We need to do some work to try and jump them and catch the two teams ahead.”

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