Oscar Piastri: McLaren a step ahead of competitors

Both drivers believe that the Albert Park Circuit favours the McLaren as they weigh up their chances of success at the Australian Grand Prix

-

Qualifying for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix saw McLaren achieve their best collective result of the season so far, placing ahead of both Mercedes and Aston Martin drivers. 

Lando Norris will start the race from third whilst home hero Oscar Piastri starts behind Norris in fifth, with both drivers gaining a position as a result of Sergio Perez’s three-place grid penalty for impeding

“I think it’s been a strong weekend for us,” said Piastri. “It kind of feels like every session you go into at the moment, everyone is very mixed up. 

“Some sessions Mercedes look very quick, some sessions the Astons look very quick, some we look very quick. I mean Red Bull always look very quick. But for the teams fighting for sort of third at the moment, it’s a bit of an unknown. 

“But I feel like this weekend, we’ve been a bit of a step in front of Mercedes and Aston Martin, which has been good.”

Whilst both drivers believe McLaren has the edge over Mercedes and Aston Martin, it’s a fact that Norris has attributed to the characteristics of the Albert Park Circuit, which he believes plays into the hands of the MCL38.

“It’s just a slightly different layout of circuit potentially played into our favour a bit more than some others,” said Norris.

“But nothing more than that. We’re not going to really do anything differently to what we did [in Saudi Arabia], so it’s just a different track layout, different tarmac, just a different weekend.”

Can McLaren score a podium?

With Norris starting third as a result of Perez‘s grid drop, a podium finish is well within reach for the Woking-based team. But doing so will involve fending off the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who starts behind Norris, as well as Perez, who will be looking to re-gain the positions he lost.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s race, Piastri believes McLaren must focus on holding position above all.

“I think we looked pretty strong in our race test yesterday,” said Piastri. “But the cars around us also look strong, or at least the cars in front of us. So I think to beat Red Bull and Ferrari, I’m going to need to find something extra or, or have a bit of good fortune. 

“I think honestly, if we can finish around where we start and not not go further backwards, that would obviously be a good day for us on Sunday. So we’ll try our best. It’s optimistic stuff, I know, but I think that’s just where we sit at the moment.”

Jasmine Hughes
Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsports in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. Jasmine has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and Max Verstappen talk in the Paddock ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Fiery Horner reignites Wolff feud over Verstappen rumours: I don’t think Toto’s problems are...

0
Christian Horner launched a stinging attack on Toto Wolff over the Mercedes team principal stoking rumours that Max Verstappen...
Toto Wolff at 2023 United States Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

Toto Wolff in ‘simple minds’ jibe at Horner over Max Verstappen

0
Toto Wolff has aimed a thinly-veiled swipe at Christian Horner by suggesting only 'simple minds' believe Max Verstappen would...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo handed grid penalty for 2024 Miami Grand Prix

0
Daniel Ricciardo's challenging weekend at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix has been compounded by a three-grid place penalty issued...
Guanyu Zhou gets emotional on the grid after the 2024 Chinese GP | Sauber

Zhou Guanyu in tears after making F1 history

0
In an emotionally charged scene at the end of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Sauber's Zhou Guanyu achieved...
Carlos Sainz during 2024 Chinese GP weekend | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Sainz channels inner Jose Mourinho to slam Leclerc for ‘costly’ Chinese GP incident

0
Carlos Sainz blamed Charles Leclerc for costing Ferrari two positions at the start of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix,...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Day 1 of 2024 F1 Testing in Bahrain | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“F*ck that guy” – Seething Daniel Ricciardo slams Lance Stroll for Chinese GP crash

0
Daniel Ricciardo laid into Lance Stroll for the Canadian’s role in their 2024 Chinese Grand Prix crash that saw...
F1 2024 Chinese GP winner Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen wants more after 2024 Chinese GP victory: Issues Red Bull demand

0
Max Verstappen might have crushed the opposition at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix to extend his championship lead to...
Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

Lewis Hamilton relying on Miami upgrade after damning Mercedes message

0
Lewis Hamilton is holding out hope that Mercedes will bring upgrades to their car in time for the Miami...
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen clinches stop-start Chinese GP win as Norris holds off Perez for second

0
Max Verstappen cruised to victory in the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix as the result never looked in doubt despite...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 Chinese GP: Driver of the Day

0
McLaren star Lando Norris has been named Driver of the Day after his stellar performance at the Formula 1...
- Advertisment -