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oscar piastri spanish grand prix qualification reaction 2024

Piastri lagging behind Norris: 'Don't understand why there's no pace'

22 June at 19:40

While Lando Norris felt the highs of pole position, Oscar Piastri was left languishing in P10 as the chequered flag fell. There were contrasting emotions on either side of the McLaren garage as Norris took the second pole position of his career, whereas Piastri was extremely critical of his performance on Saturday at the Spanish Grand Prix, with the Australian knowing there was more on offer.

Piastri understeered off into the gravel around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, ruining his crucial lap in Q3. Ultimately, the Australian will start in ninth due to Sergio Perez's penalty.

Why has Piastri lagged behind Norris?

After a disappointing qualifying session, Piastri admitted that his lap that ended up in the gravel would not have even challenged Norris at the front of the grid, saying that he has been struggling for pace all weekend around Catalunya.

"It certainly wasn't going to be pole," said Piastri. "I don't feel like I threw away that much of a result. Honestly, I think it would have been maybe P7 or P8 at best. I don't feel like I've made a mistake that's cost a big result. It's just not having the pace, which is obviously not ideal."

Piastri continued: "I just need to understand why that's been the case. It's just not been very natural all weekend. I think the last four or five races from the first lap of practice, being able to be comfortable with the car and then push on from there. This weekend, it's just not been coming. Today has just not clicked for some reason."

But why is Piastri struggling with a lack of pace? The Australian doesn't know, as he concluded by saying, "There's not a massive explanation. Just very minor things, but there are always very minor things. I just need to dig into why. I don't have any answer to that. It could be the tyres, but it's very difficult to know. I'm not doing anything majorly different. It's not like I'm going 10 or 20 seconds faster on the out lap or anything. It's a very, very small difference, if any. Just some homework that needs to be done."