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Piastri admits spending much of Chinese GP in ‘damage limitation’ mode after car was left ‘destroyed’

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SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Oscar Piastri of Australia and McLaren looks on, on the grid prior to

While Lando Norris stood on the podium for McLaren at the Chinese Grand Prix, team mate Oscar Piastri ended the event back in eighth place after driving with “significant” damage during the second half of the race.

The Australian had enjoyed a decent start to the 56-lap encounter, initially holding onto his starting position of P5 off the line, but later was caught up in a concertina effect when the race was restarted following a Safety Car phase midway through proceedings.

READ MORE: Verstappen charges to victory over Norris and Perez in action-packed Chinese GP

As Fernando Alonso locked up into the hairpin as the drivers prepared for the action to get underway again, George Russell had to brake behind to avoid him, which then forced Piastri to do the same behind Russell.

However, just behind them, Lance Stroll did not slow sufficiently behind Daniel Ricciardo and crashed into the back of the RB, which prompted the Australian’s car to make contact with the rear of Piastri’s McLaren.

2024 Chinese Grand Prix: Drama on the restart as Stroll hits Ricciardo and Magnussen knocks out Tsunoda

Piastri was later heard asking over team radio about the amount of damage he had sustained. While he managed to remain within the top 10 and looked on course for P7 as the race drew to a close, the 23-year-old was passed by Alonso in the final laps, meaning that he crossed the line in P8.

Asked after the race just how bad the damage had been on his car, Piastri replied: “Significant. I don’t know how much time it was worth but, looking at the back of the car after the race, it was pretty destroyed.

READ MORE: Norris thrilled with ‘surprise’ Chinese GP podium as he reveals pre-race Ferrari bet

“I think it explains quite a lot of the deficit. I think in the first part of the race it was looking okay, [I was] lacking a little bit of pace but not too bad, and then after the restart [it was] just very much literal damage limitation.”

The next race on the calendar is the Miami Grand Prix – which takes place from May 3-5 – and McLaren will be bringing upgrades to their car for the event.

Piastri reveals the back of his car ‘was pretty destroyed’ after contact with Ricciardo

On what can be expected from those updates, Piastri joked: “I mean hopefully it makes the car faster! But yeah, [it] will be interesting to see what we can do.

“Obviously for Lando to finish second today is a great result for the team and very unexpected, so [we] need to understand why we seemed to be good today. So hopefully it makes the car even quicker and we can start really challenging for podiums regularly.”

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: How an Alonso cameo helped Norris prevent a Red Bull 1-2 in China

McLaren are currently sitting third in the constructors’ standings on 96 points, giving them a 44-point advantage over nearest challengers Mercedes in fourth.

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