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Piastri knew he was ‘in trouble’ after early pit-stop call

Matt Clayton
Monday, 8 July 2024

Oscar Piastri felt a potential podium – or better – was squandered at Silverstone, after a decision to do one more lap on slicks in the wet before pitting for inters saw him tumble from the front before finishing fourth.

Oscar Piastri was sympathetic to the gravity of the decision McLaren faced when pondering a pit stop strategy for its drivers when they were running 1-2 at Silverstone, but felt the British Grand Prix was a race either he or teammate Lando Norris could have won after he finished fourth – for the fourth time in 12 races this season – on Sunday.

After both McLarens were jumped by a fast-starting Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) on lap one, the race swung back to Norris and Piastri when rain began to fall from lap 15, the pair storming to the front past Verstappen, and Mercedes teammates George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, by half-distance of the 52-lap duration.


With the rain intensifying and the McLarens needing to pit for intermediate tyres but running in close proximity, the team pitted Norris on lap 27 but left Piastri out on slick tyres on an increasingly damp track for a further lap, which saw him fall to sixth when he resumed. 

While there was still just under half the race to go from there, Piastri’s chance of a maiden Grand Prix win were all but over – and while he felt the call was acceptable at the time, he knew it was the end of his hopes.

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“I was OK with the decision, I knew I was going to lose a lot of time if we double-stacked because I was half a second behind Lando at that point,” he said. 

“So it was kind of a joint decision, [but] we just need to review if we had information we could have used to make a better call there. As soon as I went past pit entry, I knew I was in a lot of trouble. But that’s how it goes sometimes.

“In our case today that’s almost the hardest decision in F1 you can have – your two cars 1-2, separated by half a second, the rain is coming down and you need to decide if you’re going to double-stack them or not. I don’t think it really gets more high-pressure than that. Unfortunately I think we got it wrong today. It was a very difficult one to get right. Didn’t quite pay off.” 

Norris used a soft tyre for the final stint in an attempt to overhaul Hamilton, but was demoted to third by Verstappen as Piastri – on what he felt was the most suitable, medium-compound, Pirelli tyre was too far back to mount a challenge. 

While happy to have moved inside the top five in the drivers’ championship, Piastri still felt his team’s pace deserved more than a 3-4 result. 

“We looked quicker than Mercedes at one point because they were the first ones to go through it all, and we could judge from them what was going on,” he said, before reflecting on his move from slicks to inters.

“That was the unfortunate turning point of our race. Clearly, it wasn’t the right call in the end. Our pace was phenomenal … I feel like we’ve had too many weekends recently where we came out of it thinking we should have had a much better result.”

Oscar Piastri at the British Grand Prix

Oscar’s British Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 5th
  • Race: 4th
  • Fastest lap: 1min 28.748secs (2nd), lap 51
  • Points this event: 12
  • Points this season: 124 (5th in world championship)