“Just a Massive Shame”: McLaren Boss Reacts as Oscar Piastri Leaves Las Vegas on a Bad Note

Published 11/20/2023, 1:00 PM EST

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via Reuters

The glittering lights of Las Vegas witnessed a thrilling Grand Prix. Red Bull and Ferrari walked back with great results. On the other side of the paddock though, McLaren wasn’t too happy with what they accomplished over the weekend.

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While one car DNF’d, Oscar Piastri‘s masterful performance was also cut short due to a mid-race clash with Lewis Hamilton. Needless to say, Andrea Stella led McLaren almost had another podium finish in the grasp, that slipped out to a mere two points. As McLaren faced highs and lows on the Vegas strip, the outcome set the stage for a nail-biting season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Oscar Piastri’s stellar rise through the pack

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Oscar Piastri’s journey in the Las Vegas Grand Prix resembled a spectacular comeback story. Starting from the 18th position, the 22-year-old Australian showcased remarkable skill and determination, swiftly ascending through the ranks. Navigating through the chaos of the opening lap, Piastri strategically maneuvered his way into the top 10 by Lap 7. A standout moment came on Lap 29 when Piastri displayed fearless braking to overtake Pierre Gasly at Turn 5.

However, the defining moment of the race occurred during a clash with Lewis Hamilton, resulting in punctures for both drivers. Although Piastri efficiently returned to the pits, the incident forced an untimely stop. This didn’t bode all too well for his race. However, despite the setback, Piastri’s resilience shone as he secured the bonus point for the fastest lap.

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“We Were Screwed”: Oscar Piastri Highlights Lewis Hamilton Incident That Derailed Las Vegas GP Hopes

Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal, expressed disappointment about the race. Just a massive shame because Oscar was absolutely brilliant,” he said in a comment to Speedcafe. So it’s a shame that, because we had started the race on hard tyres, then we needed to pit before the due time because of the contact with Hamilton.”

With the dreadful result for McLaren at the Las Vegas street circuit, they now find themselves amidst an intense battle for points with Aston Martin in order to secure 4th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

McLaren’s disappointment and the battle for points 

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The decision to start the race on hard tires ultimately proved pivotal. Piastri’s clash with Hamilton forced an early stop, necessitating an early pit stop. The subsequent Safety Car further complicated matters.

What could have been a strategy masterclass turned into an unfortunate disaster class. Despite Piastri’s best efforts, the final outcome saw McLaren fall victim to circumstances beyond their control. With Lando Norris crashing out early and Aston Martin out-scoring McLaren by 10 points, the team now heads to the season finale in Abu Dhabi trailing by a slim 11-point margin.

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Watch This Story: How Oscar Piastri Has Made a Scintillating Rise to the Pinnacle of Motorsport

As the team reflects on Piastri’s exceptional drive, the focus shifts to Abu Dhabi. Every single point will be crucial in determining the final standings. The twists and turns of the Vegas strip mirrored McLaren’s rollercoaster of emotions, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the climax of the Formula 1 season in the deserts of Yas Island.

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Written by:

Anirudh Kidambi

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Hey there! I am Anirudh, your seasoned wordsmith. With over three years in the game, I am not just a writer, I am a passionate scribe with an insatiable curiosity that fuels my every word. My passion for American sports centers around Indycar, a love I discovered in 2018.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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