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Damage compounds ‘struggle’ for Piastri in Mexico

Monday, 30 October 2023

Oscar Piastri salvaged four points for finishing eighth in his maiden visit to Mexico, a battle with Yuki Tsunoda earning his ire after a race where he admitted to struggling for pace.

Oscar Piastri was left less than impressed by Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda after the pair came to blows in Sunday’s Mexico City Grand Prix, the McLaren driver left wanting more after finishing in eighth place on his first visit to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Piastri was disputing seventh place with the Scuderia AlphaTauri driver on lap 48 when the pair almost came to blows at the first corner; one lap later, Tsunoda attempted an optimistic move around the outside of Piastri at the same turn and the pair made contact, Tsunoda sent spinning into the asphalt run-off area before rejoining in 16th place, which became 12th at the chequered flag.


While the clash didn’t necessarily change Piastri’s result – both he, and compatriot Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri) were powerless to halt the progress of Lando Norris late in the race on fresher, faster tyres – Piastri was unimpressed with how his Sunday panned out, one week after an early clash with Esteban Ocon’s Alpine saw him become an early spectator at the United States Grand Prix in Austin.

“(Tsunoda) went for some big passes and I managed to fend him off,” Piastri explained after finishing 43.104secs behind race-winner Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).

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“The last one, I wasn’t really expecting him to go right like that in the braking zone. I was OK, so … yeah.”

Piastri was sixth when the race was red-flagged just before the halfway stage of the 71-lap duration when Kevin Magnussen crashed his Haas heavily at Turn 9, and came off second-best in a skirmish with Mercedes driver George Russell on the first lap of the restart.

“I just struggled after the safety car – there was quite a lot of battling which I’m sure didn’t help,” he said.

“But I just struggled for pace. A bit of damage on the car towards the end as well, but something to look into … it was a shame, it ultimately limited the opportunities out there for me.”

With four points for his 10th points-finish of the year in 19 Grands Prix, Piastri maintained his comfortable ninth place in the drivers’ standings with 87 points, nearest rival Pierre Gasly (Alpine) failing to score after finishing 11th from the same position on the grid.

Oscar Piastri at the Mexico City Grand Prix

Oscar's Mexico City Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 7th
  • Race: 8th
  • Fastest lap: 1min 22.760secs (8th), lap 53
  • Points this event: 4
  • Points this season: 87 (9th in world championship)