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Oscar Piastri

Top-five McLaren ‘out of position’ on Chinese GP grid

McLaren enjoyed a strong qualifying outing in China as Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri qualified fourth and fifth respectively.

Oscar Piastri has conceded McLaren is “out of position” following its strong qualifying showcase ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Piastri ended the session in fifth place, one spot behind team-mate Lando Norris.

The Woking-based squad managed to out-pace Ferrari but missed out on besting Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso to claim the second row as its own.

McLaren has scored points with both of its drivers at every race so far this year and currently sits third in the constructors' championship, marking a much stronger start to the season compared to 12 months ago.

When asked if he was disappointed or pleased with the performance so far this weekend in China, Piastri said: “I would say somewhere in the middle, to be honest.

“Fourth and fifth is a good result given there are quite a few corners on this track that we thought would be a bit of a struggle for us.

“I think to be especially ahead of the two Ferraris is a very good effort for us.”

Qualifying the peak

Piastri ended the sprint race in seventh place behind Norris, who crossed the line in sixth after he was shuffled down the order from pole position while battling Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap.

McLaren was unable to contend with Ferrari during the sprint - leaving Piastri to concede that the grand prix could be a struggle for the team.

“I think we saw in the sprint this morning that the race could be a bit more difficult for us and qualifying is probably our peak.

“We’ll see what we can do but I think we’re maybe a little bit out of position and where we've qualified in a good way.

“We'll see how long we can hang on in the race.”

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