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Piastri on being next to Verstappen: ‘Will be more open than Silverstone'

Piastri on being next to Verstappen: ‘Will be more open than Silverstone'

23-09-2023 09:33
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Oscar Piastri will start from P2 at Suzuka, after the Australian beat his teammate Lando Norris and everyone else except for Max Verstappen. Piastri will, as a result, start next to the Dutchman on Sunday. He was not completely satisfied with his final lap in Q3, and looks forward to challenging Verstappen during the race in Japan.

During the press conference after qualifying, Piastri said he could have improved on his lap, but it was not enough to catch pole-sitter Max Verstappen. "I think I was about two tenths up after the first sector, but I wasn't going to find six. In the end it didn't make much of a difference, but of course, when you're up on your lap before, of course you want to keep going that way and I’m just a little bit frustrated I didn't manage to improve on the second lap, but in the end it didn't matter."

On the other hand, the Australian thinks together with Lando Norris, they have a chance of beating the Red Bull driver on Sunday. "We'll try. I mean, we tried our best in Silverstone, so we'll try and do the same thing, but obviously it's going to be difficult. I think it's going to be a very difficult race tomorrow as well, very different to Silverstone in that regard. It could be a lot more open, I think," the McLaren driver concluded about his team’s chances for the race.

'Upgrades are in the right direction'

Piastri also explained why his car was able to perform well for him, but still understands where McLaren can improve. "I think the strengths are still the same as it's always been the fast corners, the high speed corners, where we can really just commit to the grip really. We still struggle in the same places."

He continued: "The upgrades are, of course, in the right direction, they have made the car quicker, but we still need some more steps evidently to be the quickest. It honestly doesn't feel that much different to Singapore. I think the circuit is so different as well that it's hard to tell, but clearly it's not too bad."