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Oscar Piastri

How Piastri impressed McLaren despite Hamilton frustration

The Australian finished fourth place in Saudi Arabia after a strong drive at a track which did not quite suit the McLaren package.

Piastri Hamilton Saudi Arabia
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has heaped praise on Oscar Piastri's mentality in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Piastri finished fourth at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit despite being stuck for a number of laps behind Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton was one of four drivers not to stop under the early Safety Car in Jeddah, climbing up to third place, but fell to fifth as Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc both easily passed the Mercedes.

But Piastri, who was tucked up behind Leclerc, was unable to find a way past the Briton for 25 laps until Hamilton finally pitted for his mandatory stop, during which time Piastri ran wide when attacking the Briton at turn one, being forced to cede the position back.

The fourth-place finish came at a track McLaren largely struggled at owing to a lack of straight-line speed - something which prevented Australian Piastri from easily passing Hamilton as the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers had done before.

But despite this, Stella was still impressed by his driver's performance.

"Oscar's race was effectively cashing in the strong result he had in qualifying," Stella told media including RacingNews365.

"He managed to gain one more place [from fifth on the grid], in what was a very clean and solid race, staying out of trouble, being quick but also patient when you have to be.

"He didn't get nervous like: 'I've not been able to pass Hamilton and I am going to attack more.'

"Actually at one stage, he had a little lock-up into a corner and a couple of times went off, but he stayed calm and waited for the race to come to him.

"We are very pleased, but not surprised because we've spent a lot of time with Oscar, we've seen all the details, all the data and we know that his potential is very high.

"His consistency from a racing and mental point of view is strong, and the way that he just stays calm and makes sure he uses the full extent of his talent, I think is his strongest characteristic."

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