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‘It’s bigger than what makes sense’ – Piastri bemused by Barcelona pace loss

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 22: Oscar Piastri of McLaren and Australia  during qualifying ahead of the

A challenging weekend for McLaren racer Oscar Piastri at the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix has left the Australian scratching his head over where his pace went at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

As McLaren team mate Lando Norris was taking the plaudits for securing a second career pole position, before finishing the Grand Prix within two seconds of winner Max Verstappen, Piastri endured a more difficult time of it in Barcelona.

READ MORE: 5 Winners and 5 Losers from Spain – Who’s up and who’s down after a barnstorming Barcelona?

A pair of errors in the final segment of qualifying saw Piastri start a season-worst P9. And although he was able to recover to seventh in the race, ahead of the Red Bull of Sergio Perez and within three seconds of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, Piastri was left to reflect on a tricky time of things in Spain.

“A bit of a difficult weekend obviously,” he said post-race.

“I think P7 was looking pretty realistic going into the race, obviously got close to Carlos at the end, but just didn’t quite have the pace this weekend in general, so need to understand why that was the case. Obviously when you qualify that far back it makes life very tough, so just need to understand why it’s been so difficult.”

Piastri looking for answers after ‘difficult weekend’ in Barcelona

The result was a rare off-colour weekend for Piastri in a sophomore season that’s already seen him net a podium in Monaco – with the 23-year-old hinting that he didn’t yet fully understand where his pace had gone in Spain.

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: Here’s how Norris could have won the Spanish Grand Prix

“I think some things are explainable,” he said. “Some things make maybe not [making] quite as much sense at the moment, but we’ve not really looked at it in that much detail. So I think some hints here and there, but I think the magnitude of the struggle has been bigger than what makes sense at the moment, so just need to understand why that was the case.”

Norris and Piastri’s combined 25 points from the Spanish Grand Prix weekend saw McLaren close the gap to 33 points to second-placed Ferrari in the constructors’ standings, with 10 rounds of 24 now in the books.

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