Oscar Piastri rues electrical failure which ended McLaren debut

McLaren's Oscar Piastri remains puzzled as to what was the exact problem which took him out of the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

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McLaren F1 driver Oscar Piastri is still unsure about the exact problem which caused him to retire from Sunday’s 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 2021 Formula 2 champion didn’t enjoy a memorable debut F1 weekend, only qualifying 19th on the grid for the Bahrain GP, though he made a good start picking up three places.

On Lap 15, Piastri reported a loss of gears and came in for an unscheduled stop to change the steering wheel. That achieved very little as the McLaren’s electronics failed, resulting in Piastri’s debut ending with a whimper.

“We had some electrical issues but not 100 per cent sure yet [what the problem was],” explained Piastri to the media. “We thought it might be the steering wheel, but it wasn’t, so we’ll have a look.

“[We] tried to restart the car [in the pit lane], nothing happened, so [it’s] unfortunate, but that’s motorsport.”

McLaren getting its act together.

Oscar Piastri of McLaren leads Charles Leclerc of Ferrari at 2023 Bahrain GP | McLaren F1 Team

Despite having his race cut short, Piastri was able to fight for positions in the opening stages of the race, making up three places as a result.

Piastri was also positive not only about the pace of the McLaren, which he feels handles its tyres well but also his racecraft which hadn’t been tested for just under two years.

“I think at the beginning, I was struggling a little bit to stay with the DRS train,” said Piastri. “We were pretty good on tires, better than some of the cars around us. I think we were getting there.

“For me, just being in a racing environment with the dirty air again and all that stuff. It’s been a while since I’ve had to experience that. Before I came into the pits, I did half a lap, fooling around.

“I knew it was going to be a pretty lonely race after that anyways, but yeah, it’s a shame we couldn’t get back out.”


Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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