McLaren’s Oscar Piastri warns of disqualifications at Brazilian GP

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified from the 2023 United States GP for excessive plank wear


McLaren‘s Oscar Piastri says he doesn’t expect a recurrence of the disqualifications at the United States Grand Prix to happen at the 2023 Brazilian GP due to the difference in track characteristics at Interlagos, but it can’t be ruled out completely.

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were randomly selected by FIA scrutineers following the conclusion of the race at the Circuit Of The Americas and were disqualified after excessive plank wear beyond the 1mm tolerance was discovered.

Mercedes attributed the infraction of the rules to a combination of their new floor upgrade producing more downforce than anticipate but also the lack of long-run simulations due to the weekend structure, which they said didn’t allow them to fully analyse the wear caused by the Texas track.

When a sprint happens, teams are only allowed one hour to set-up their cars before they are locked into parc ferme meaning that they can no longer be changed, but whilst the Brazilian GP is a sprint weekend the Australian doesn’t anticipate it happening this time as Interlagos isn’t as bumpy as Austin.

“I think maybe people will be a bit more conservative,” Piastri said to media. “I don’t know because I’ve not driven here, but I don’t think here will be as bumpy as Austin, I think that’s what caught out a lot of people.

“Of course, you still have the same risks, being that once you send the car out for qualifying you can’t touch it again – unless you want to start from the pit lane twice. So maybe the risk is a bit lower, but it’s still definitely there.”

Oscar Piastri during practice for 2023 Mexico City GP | McLaren

More set-up flexibility on sprint weekends

Sprints have been heavily discussed since their introduction in 2021 and have gone through different iterations in 2022 and now 2023 as the Formula 1 aims to improve the challenge for the drivers and the spectacle for fans.

They are once again a source of conversation in this season of F1 as teams complain about the limited margin for set-ups, number of races and the point of them at all. Notably Max Verstappen has said they’re simply a forecast for the Sunday race and takes away from the entertainment of the main race.

“I think the first thing, and I think Austin probably highlighted this, is giving the teams a bit more flexibility to change things,” Piastri said.

“Because at the moment, it’s a very difficult decision. If you know that your car is going to be on the edge of illegal, it’s either you run the risk and get disqualified or start from the pit-lane, if you change [set-up] before the sprint twice.

“That’s a very difficult decision for teams to make, so I think some more flexibility on that would help things out a bit, and potentially changing the order of the two qualifying sessions, maybe having the sprint qualifying first and then having the main race qualifying on Saturday.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
- Advertisment -


Charles Leclerc Monaco GP record: Ferrari star out to banish seven-year curse

After growing up in Monaco, Charles Leclerc must know the streets of Monte Carlo like the back of his...
Joey Logano leads the field at the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway | NASCAR

Was the NASCAR All-Star Race’s option tyre a success?

The NASCAR All-Star Race is often used as a testing ground for concepts that might be incorporated into points...
McLaren F1 launch bespoke Senna livery for the 2024 Monaco GP | McLaren

McLaren unveil stunning Senna tribute livery for 2024 Monaco GP

McLaren have announced a special Ayrton Senna-inspired livery for the 2024 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, celebrating the legendary...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Australian GP | Mercedes / Sulay Kelly

Race to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes down to two candidates

As Lewis Hamilton prepares to leave Mercedes for Ferrari ahead of the 2025 Formula 1 season, there has been...
Ollie Bearman with his new helmet ahead of his practice outing in Imola for Haas

Haas boss outlines how Oliver Bearman can secure 2025 F1 seat after Imola audition

Oliver Bearman has been hailed for his faultless performance by Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu in practice at the...

Esteban Ocon tempted by Mercedes 2025 switch as Alpine doubts emerge

Esteban Ocon has opened the door to replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, as the Alpine driver ponders his future...
Toto Wolff at 2023 United States Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

Toto Wolff ‘can’t wait’ to prove Horner wrong after latest Mercedes jibe

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has fired back at Christian Horner for suggesting over 200 employees left Mercedes for Red...
Race winner Max Verstappen and runner-up Lando Norris of McLaren celebrate on the podium after the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers from 2024 Emilia Romagna GP

Lando Norris' miraculous late-race pace brought a previously lacklustre 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to life as the McLaren...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren at the start of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Emilia Romagna GP 2024

Max Verstappen returned to the top of the podium after seeing off a late challenge from Lando Norris to...
Scott McLaughlin at 2024 Indy 500 Pole Day | Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

Scott McLaughlin secures pole for Indy 500, as Team Penske sweep front row

Scott McLaughlin clinched the P1 Award in IndyCar's Fast Six qualifying for the 108th Indy 500, leading Team Penske...
- Advertisment -