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Oscar Piastri

Piastri wary of Qatar tyre 'question mark' after Sprint pole

Safety measures have been put in place as the McLaren driver aims for the Sprint victory.

Piastri Qatar
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri is wary of the "question mark" over Pirelli's tyres as he targets a win in the Qatar Grand Prix Sprint.

The Australian rookie stunned to secure top spot in the Sprint Shootout at the Lusail International Circuit, edging out teammate Lando Norris to lock out the front row for the Woking-based outfit.

Sprint Shootout began after a quickly-organised 'familiarisation session' following track changes to combat safety concerns raised by Pirelli analysis overnight, with tyre construction fears discovered.

For Piastri, the result was redemption after losing a top-three spot in qualifying during his parc fermé interview for exceeding track limits and speaking after securing top-spot, he joked: "Very happy - I might just give the FIA five minutes to make sure I'm actually on pole.

"It was a pretty good lap. I saw Lando on the big screen, he made a mistake at the last corner so I don't know what his lap was looking like, but very happy."

"Obviously Max is starting third so he is not a million miles away, but we will try our best [to win].

"A question mark on tyres but we will try our best and see what we can pull off."

Impossible to know track limits

As part of preventative measures after the tyre fears were raised, track limits were adjusted at Turns 12 and 13, which led to a number of violations throughout the Shootout.

"It changes a little bit," said Piastri, referring to the changes.

"Because it is a painted kerb, it is impossible to know where it is so it makes things a bit more difficult but it's the same for everyone.

"I think we struggled a but in the first two parts of qualifying and then came back together a bit more for the last one.

"So very happy and great work from the team."

F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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