RACE DEBRIEF

    Oscar Piastri still had plenty to smile about despite the “massively unlucky” timing of the Safety Car that saw him drop out of the podium-paying positions and down to fourth in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix.

    Piastri and team mate Lando Norris ran second and third for the majority of Sunday’s encounter at Silverstone, having qualified in the same positions. But while the Australian pitted under green flag conditions, Norris and several other front-runners benefitted from stopping during the neutralisation.

    READ MORE: Verstappen heads local heroes Norris and Hamilton to claim British Grand Prix win

    That meant it was Norris who ended up on the podium, following the Red Bull of Max Verstappen home, while Piastri took fourth, behind the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, for a result that still represented the best of his F1 career so far.

    “It’s a different feeling to be disappointed [with] fourth place!” said Piastri as he reflected on his afternoon at the wheel. “We did a great race, executed it very well, it’s just massively unlucky with the Safety Car timing unfortunately. I think we did everything we could.”

    Referencing the recent updates that have launched McLaren into contention, he continued: “I’m still super-proud of the team, obviously a great day points-wise. But forgetting the points, from where we started the season to where we are now, it’s quite the turnaround, I have to say.

    Race Highlights: 2023 British Grand Prix

    “It’s a massive, massive weekend for the team, I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve been able to achieve in such a short time now. I’m excited for more and hopefully we can stay here for the rest of the season.”

    Piastri added that the weekend was especially encouraging due to how different the Red Bull Ring – where Norris first tried the revised MCL60 – and Silverstone are, giving him hope that there will be more podium opportunities to come.

    READ MORE: Norris praises ‘amazing job’ from McLaren after recent updates net Silverstone podium

    NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG
    Piastri was forced to come home in the wheeltracks of Hamilton's Mercedes

    “I think we were maybe slightly wary that Austria could be an outlier, but I think we’ve been even stronger here this weekend,” he commented. “Hopefully we can keep it going. There’ll still be tracks that maybe don’t suit us quite as well, but I think we’ve made a massive step forward.

    MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: How Norris pulled off Silverstone podium despite ‘pretty terrible’ McLaren limitation

    “Also on Sundays… With the car I had last week in Austria I definitely couldn’t have managed the race pace we had today. A massive credit to the team for everything they’ve done, and hopefully there’s a few more podiums and high points finishes in the pipeline.”

    McLaren’s strong points haul at their home race has moved the team up from sixth to fifth position in the constructors’ standings, 12 clear of sixth-placed Alpine.