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Piastri thrilled with Monaco podium after ‘tricky race’ as Norris hails McLaren for outperforming Red Bull

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Second placed Oscar Piastri of Australia and McLaren celebrates on

Oscar Piastri was pleased to claim his first podium result of the season at the Monaco Grand Prix, having taken P2 after being unable to find a way past winner Charles Leclerc in what proved to be a “tricky race”.

Having started from the front row alongside pole-sitter Leclerc, Piastri kept within touching distance of the Monegasque throughout much of the race as the margins remained incredibly fine between the Ferrari and McLaren pairs at the front.

READ MORE: Leclerc clinches long-awaited home win in Monaco ahead of Piastri and Sainz after early drama

While he slipped back in the latter stages of the event – and had to resist pressure from Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in third and fourth respectively – Piastri kept his cool and crossed the line in second place, leaving him delighted to score his strongest result of the year so far.

“[It was] a tricky race,” the Australian explained after jumping out of the car. “The pace at the beginning was incredibly slow. I had one little half look before the tunnel, but didn’t have… I didn’t have a small enough car to fit into the gap.

“Thanks to the whole team, it’s been a great weekend all round, and nice to finally put a result on the board. I feel like we’ve been very strong for the last few weekends but didn’t really have the result to show for it, so it’s nice to have a podium, and what better place?”

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Asked if the outcome had made him think about the factors in qualifying that led to him starting in P2, Piastri praised the pace of Leclerc as he responded: "Yeah, it does. But, to be honest, Charles has been mega all weekend and they’ve been quick from the very first lap.

“I think it would have taken something pretty special in quali to out-do them. The opportunity was almost there but it would have taken probably the best lap of my life. I’m happy with P2, a good result for the team again… very, very happy.”

READ MORE: Leclerc overjoyed with breakthrough Monaco win as he says previous heartache made success ‘even better’

Norris, meanwhile, ended the race in fourth in what proved to be an event greatly affected by strategy, with Sainz at one stage backing him into George Russell in fifth. The Briton, however, felt that this did not have a huge impact on his final result.

“Honestly I don’t think that would have changed anything,” said Norris. “It is what it is. Carlos had way more pace every time he wanted to push, so I don’t think it really changed anything, just never the most exciting race.

“Mentally it’s still draining and you’re still pushing, you’re just pushing to a much lower limit. A bit of a shame, we had no strategy to accomplish – it was just hard tyres until the end. At least if there were some pit stops maybe something could have come of it, but [there] never was.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes

Norris was pleased with a "great result" for McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix

“Not the most complicated and so forth, but always a pleasure to drive around here, and I think a great result for us as a team still with a second and fourth.”

Norris has now moved up into third place of the drivers’ standings, having added to his tally of promising results in recent races. He also finished ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen, who took sixth place on what has been a tough weekend for Red Bull.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

Asked if his consistency has left him and the team feeling confident that they can attack at every circuit, Norris commented: “We are, and I think every race we do we gain more confidence in that kind of thing.

“The team are doing a fantastic job, we were ahead of Red Bull this weekend clearly but maybe a little bit behind Ferrari. But at the end of the day, Ferrari are doing a good job. We’re up there, we’re in with a chance in case something happens.

“So we’re still there, we’re still getting a lot of points and still a big points haul for today, so we’re happy with that. I’ll just keep pushing, because I think everyone’s doing a very good job. We’ll keep at it, the team are doing amazing and hopefully we can keep chipping away.”

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