Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL60. 17.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Race Day. – www.xpbimages.com, EMail: [email protected] © Copyright: Rew / XPB Images
Oscar Piastri says he “couldn’t have done more” after climbing from 17th to seventh in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Whilst Lando Norris grabbed the headlines for his impressive second-place finish in the upgraded McLaren MCL60, Piastri added to the team’s tally with a fine drive without the new updates.
Having been unfortunate with a red flag that prevented him from progressing beyond Q1, the Australian was able to advance up the pecking order on a track notorious for being difficult to pass on.
“Really, really happy, you know starting 17th in Singapore is never the most exciting prospect, so to come away with P7 after all that is a fantastic result I don’t think we could have done more than that,” he said.
“Very happy, great result for the team as well, great points.”
Piastri’s seventh-place finish combined with Norris’ runner-up effort added another 24 points to McLaren’s haul in the Constructors’ Championship, further solidifying fifth place on 139 points, 78 behind fourth place Aston Martin and 58 ahead of sixth place Alpine.
The rookie racer made use of a strong start to help his ascension in the race, which he detailed succinctly.
“Yeah had a really good start, first lap as well, picked up a few cars and then we just were patient and then we had a Safety Car that was at the right time this time which helped,” he added.
“Yeah, some good fortune, some good moves, good patience and just capitalising when we had to.”
Starting 17th, points looked unlikely for Piastri in Singapore, but he delivered
After pitting under the Safety Car, Piastri managed to gain a further position and was running in 13th place when racing speeds resumed. By half-race distance, he was in the back end of a train from seventh down to 12th.
Piastri managed to dispatch Kevin Magnussen for 11th on Lap 38 and he rose to ninth when both Red Bulls made their first stops.
With Esteban Ocon retiring and Fernando Alonso pitting under the resulting Virtual Safety Car, Piastri had progressed to seventh place. Despite then being passed by Verstappen late on, George Russell’s last-lap crash meant Piastri was able to reclaim seventh by the chequered flag.
A long race, in searing heat and humidity, Singapore is a significant challenge for even the most experienced of F1 drivers, let alone rookies, which Piastri was well aware of.
“It definitely lives up to its reputation,” he noted. “Yeah, definitely the toughest race of the year.
“I think I’m very glad with all the heat-specific prep I did this weekend.”
Keyword: Piastri ‘couldn’t have done more’ in 10-place climb to P7