The Australian opted for a hard-hard-medium strategy and although he took F1’s fastest lap for a bonus point, he felt that he could have done without the set of yellow-walled medium tyres.
His strategy was compromised on Lap 16 so the plan would have been to anticipate a late safety car to allow a cheap switch to softer tyres or face an ambitious 34-lap medium stint. Due to the frequency of safety cars McLaren never had the gap to make that easy pit stop.
“The timing of the safe car was pretty much perfect for the guys that stayed out on mediums for the start,” Piastri said to media. “Like [Esteban] Ocon, it worked perfectly for him.
“I was really wishing that rule of using two compounds didn’t exist, I would have just gone to the end on the hards and I think we had the pace to hang on to people. So that was a shame.”
Piastri takes some responsibility for Hamilton crash
The rookie had his second skirmish of the 2023 season with Hamilton at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit when he and the Mercedes driver attempted to go side by side through Turn 7 chicane.
Hamilton took a tight inside line but understeered off the kerb and clipped Piastri’s left-rear tyre as he attempted to hang it around the outside of the narrow corner. The contact resulted in a puncture for both dropping them down the order.
“It was kind of just an awkward one,” Piastri said. “Neither of us had really committed to the corner that much and then we both committed at the last minute.
“I was trying to back out of it, but we just ended up meeting in the middle so I had a puncture from that. I don’t think it really hurt our race that much in all honesty.”