Piastri: It would be more correct to make a double pit stop

Piastri: It would be more correct to make a double pit stop

After the finish of the British Grand Prix, both McLaren drivers were clearly frustrated as it was clear they had no less chance of winning than Lewis Hamilton, who won his home race for the ninth time in his career.

When it started to rain, but it was still possible to stay on slicks, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri took turns going out first for Max Verstappen and then for the Mercedes drivers, taking the first two positions.

The turning point in the development of the on-track events came on lap 27, when Norris was the first to pit for intermediate tyres, leaving his partner on the track for another lap, even though the tarmac was already quite wet.

Before the first pit stop, Piastri was about six tenths behind Norris, but Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who were in third and fourth place, were not that far ahead. In this case, Piastri would have lost time anyway, even if he had not stayed on track, and McLaren would have decided to make a double pit stop. Incidentally, this is exactly what Mercedes did: changing the tires of two cars in succession.

“To be honest, this decision you make during the race is probably the hardest decision you have to make,” Australian publication Speedcafe quotes Oscar as saying. – You have two cars that are half a second apart, and it’s already raining. I don’t think there are any more difficult situations.

Of course we have to analyse some points, because I think a double pit stop would have been a better decision, but in hindsight we are all strong. But we just have to find out if we had any information in favour of this particular option… But I knew that if I was leading I would have priority in making pit stops.’

But in reality Lando Norris was right, who pitted first, with Oscar pitting a lap later, even though the track conditions were becoming increasingly difficult.

“It was already very difficult in the last few corners,” he admitted. “When I got to the pits, I saw on the display that Lando was already five seconds behind and I realised that I was in serious trouble. So I realised straight away that this was the wrong decision. Of course I was very upset at that moment, but I knew that the rain was still coming.

A few laps after the pit stop I noticed that the intermediate tyres of the cars in front of me were not in the best condition anymore, and I started to get a certain optimism, but soon I found myself in the same situation as the others. . However, I knew that in the later stages of the race I might still have some chances if we went back to slicks. We had a choice of tyres, so I knew there would be chances. “I just tried to get the best chance possible, because I was still trying to win the race.”

After the first pit stop, Piastri returned to the track in sixth place: his teammate was in the lead, Hamilton was second and Max Verstappen, who had pitted two laps ahead of Oscar, climbed to third position.

“I think we just have to see if the decision not to double pit was reasonable enough,” the Australian continued. – Obviously when the cars are such a small interval apart, you lose a lot of time with a double pit stop.

The track conditions were getting more and more difficult, but it was very difficult to judge them accurately. For the lap before my pit stop, the asphalt was only really wet on half the track, but then the whole track became like that.

“Generally, everyone involved in the decision-making was in a difficult position. But now I think that if we had done a double pit stop, the chances of winning would have been very high.”

After the second pit stop on lap 38, when Piastri returned to the slicks, he was already running 4th, helped by the retirement of Russell. For the last fifteen laps Oscar was given a new set of Medium tyres, but Lando Norris opted to switch to soft tyres, and it is likely that this choice cost him the victory.

In the final phase of the race, Oscar drove the fastest and eventually finished only 4.8 seconds behind Lando. Carlos Sainz however set the best lap, because at the end he only got soft tires and earned a bonus point. The Spanish Ferrari driver took 5th place.

“I think Lando and I were in a very good position to lead the race and all the other decisions were correct,” concluded Piastri. – Including the decision to switch to Medium tyres. It’s just a shame that we didn’t perform well halfway through the race.”

After the first half of the season, the Australian driver occupies 5th place in the personal standings, and McLaren, after the results of the British Grand Prix, have almost overtaken Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship – they are separated by only seven points.

Source: F1 News

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