‘I just ran out of talent’: Piastri annoyed by his qualifying mistake in Spain

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Oscar Piastri has been left bemoaning a single error that cost him the best qualifying result of his fledgling Formula 1 career on the day his McLaren team finally had something to smile about at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The young Australian’s British teammate Lando Norris finished third in qualifying in Barcelona on Saturday, easily the most encouraging performance of the season for the struggling UK-based giants.

Oscar Piastri wasn’t happy with his performance in qualifying.Credit: Getty Images

And Piastri feels he may have been “up there” with his more experienced colleague if not for an error while on his counting lap in the final qualifying session.

“It was a shame I didn’t get it done today,” he told Viaplay after finishing 10th.

“We were right there the whole qualifying, I was on a good lap and then broke too late into turn 10 and went in the part of the track that was wet and my lap was over from there.

“It was a shame – we could have had both cars up there I think. I just ran out of talent.”

Piastri will start from ninth.Credit: Getty Images

McLaren CEO Zak Brown, overhearing the self-deprecation, piped up that “the boys have done good”.

To which the 22-year-old rookie couldn’t help scolding himself further, smiling wryly: “One boy did very good, the other one he could have done better …

“If you had given me a P10 [10th on the grid] in the first five or six races, I’d have been super happy, so I guess it’s a nice problem to have in some ways, but I’m quite annoyed with myself that I didn’t get more out of today.”

If the Melbourne driver had repeated his performance of the second qualifying session when he made the final shootout with a one minute 13.059sec lap, he would have finished seventh. Instead, he could only clock 1:13.682 in Q3.

Still, he’s hopeful of another place among the points on Sunday, as he starts ninth on the grid after being promoted from 10th following a double penalty for Pierre Gasly for impeding the eventual pole winner Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.

The Australian rookie will still have his work cut out with some serious contenders behind him after Charles Leclerc qualified only 19th and Sergio Perez didn’t get past Q2.

“Staying in the points won’t be easy but at the same time, I think there’s some opportunities ahead as well,” he said. “We’ll see what we can do.”

Norris was left stunned by the improvement after McLaren’s humdrum performances in practice on Friday.

“I’m shocked to be here,” he said. “We’ve not really brought anything to the car this weekend, the last upgrade we had was Baku with the floor and even that didn’t give us a lot of performance, just a different direction to go in.”


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