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Oscar Piastri

Why McLaren was left ‘nervous’ despite Piastri car repairs

Oscar Piastri scored his first podium of the 2024 Formula 1 season in Monaco - however he could have been much worse off if not for a red flag interruption.

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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has revealed the extent of Oscar Piastri's car damage at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Piastri secured a front-row start for the Monte Carlo race but couldn't put pressure on pole-sitter Charles Leclerc as they ran towards the first turn.

Instead, the Australian was forced to watch his mirrors as the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz attacked him for position.

As the pair went side-by-side through the opening corner, contact was made - Sainz sustained a puncture while Piastri picked up damage to his floor. 

The race was then neutralised by a red flag due a a major incident further back in the pack, allowing McLaren to make repairs to the floor.

“As soon as the collision happened, we observed 20 points down [on downforce], which here in Monaco is about half a second," explained McLaren team principal Andrea Stella.

"But thanks to the red flag, we were in condition to make some repairs to the floor because the side wing of the floor was broken, we didn't fix it entirely.”

'Nervous' over tyre life

Piastri took the restart in second place, a position he retained throughout the grand prix en route to his first podium of the year.

Stella revealed that Piastri was lacking two-tenths of a second per lap with his damage, however the slow pace of the Monaco race and the lack of overtaking opportunities helped to dampen the deficit.

"We changed the sidepod that was broken as well, so overall, the deficit was about 10 points for the entire race, which is maybe two-tenths and a half,” he said.

“It made us a bit more nervous to keep the tyres in a good situation and in a good condition because the car was a little damaged.

“But Oscar managed to do that and ultimately the damage was not influential for the final result.”

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