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Oscar Piastri

Piastri will 'tie a rope' to back of Verstappen in Sprint

A high-downforce set-up could harm Oscar Piastri's chances if the F1 Sprint is dry at Spa-Francorchamps.

Piastri Sprint Shootout Belgium 2023
To news overview © XPBimages

Oscar Piastri has joked that he will follow teammate Lando Norris's advice and "tie a rope" to the back of Max Verstappen in the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint.

In the Sprint Shootout, Piastri was on provisional pole up until Verstappen eclipsed his lap by just 0.011s, with the McLaren opting for a high-downforce set-up which helped him in Sector 2 and throughout the wet conditions in the early stages of the session.

However, if the Sprint, and main Grand Prix, are dry, this package will be a problem for Piastri in Sectors 1 and 3 of the Spa-Francorchamps lap which are dominated by a need for straight-line speed.

To counteract this, Piastri remembered a comment from Norris about being able to follow the Red Bull.

Piastri's tow rope

"I think Lando said a few years ago that he's going to tie a tow rope to the back of the Red Bull," Piastri told Sky Sports F1.

"I'm going to take the same claim. Honestly, if we were on pole, I think we would have potentially been P4 or P5 by the time we got to Turn 5 (the Les Combes chicane) such is our straight-line speed deficit.

"Our [lack of] straight-line speed might not be enough to tag onto the back of [Verstappen].

"It obviously pays dividends in the corners, Sector 2 was rapid, but it doesn't make our life too easy on the straights.

"It is very easy to say: 'Oh, we should have run this wing' but it is not quite as simple as that. Some people's cars work better at different downforce levels.

"When you have got one lap on Intermediates in practice to see where everybody is, it is pretty difficult to make decisions for the rest of the weekend.

"We made the right call for our car. It is not going to be easy for us on the straights, but hopefully, we can be quick enough in Sector 2 that we don't have to worry about it too much.

"I am definitely proud [of the lap] and there was not too much more [I could have done].

"In those conditions, it is so easy to say there is more [time] left in it, but if you [push] a little bit too far, you are in the wall.

"I'm very proud to be on the front-row we saw how quick Max was yesterday, so to get that close to him, it is good."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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