Drove slower than Formula 2!

Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris were unable to celebrate the victory. Instead, they remained in positions 2 and 4. In the race, there was no way past Charles Leclerc. The Papayas probably lost their chance of victory in qualifying. Lando Norris despaired at Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari. Oscar Piastri was happy with second place.

Piastri: Top was slower than Formula 2

Oscar Piastri takes 18 points from Monaco to Woking. These are important points for McLaren so that they don’t lose touch with Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. But would 25 points have been possible?

“To be honest, Charles was great from the start. I probably would have had to drive the best lap of my life yesterday to beat him. So I’m very happy with second place,” said Piastri.

McLaren team boss Andrea Stella was also quite satisfied with the result. “If you look at the data, if we add up the fastest three sectors, Oscar was the fastest. But you have to put that together in one lap. And P4 and P2 is also a good result,” said Stella on Sky Germany.

In the race itself, there were hardly any opportunities to overtake. Leclerc controlled the pace. The four cars at the front just crept along behind each other. “After 10 or 15 laps, I tried to go into turn 8 once. We were very slow, I think at one point even slower than Formula 2. I tried to keep my nose in, but he reacted quickly enough,” said Piastri.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) leads after the restart ahead of Oscar Piastri (McLaren), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Lando Norris (McLaren)
The leaders in Monaco were McLaren and Ferrari, Photo: LAT Images

Charles Leclerc seemed to be in control of the pace, especially at the beginning. For comparison: At the beginning of the race, the leading group was driving times in the region of 1:20,000 minutes. At the end of the race, on tires that were over 70 laps old, they were driving 5 seconds faster. “At times we were three seconds slower than we should have been,” explains Andrea Stella.

It was only in the second half of the race that Piastri seemed unable to keep up with Leclerc. In the end, he was about nine seconds behind the race winner. “I think towards the end of the race it was a combination of keeping up the race pace and my damage to the underbody. I had a bit of trouble at the end,” says Piastri.

He sustained damage to the underbody when he had a slight touch with Carlos Sainz at the start of the race. “But at the beginning I didn’t know how much it would cost me.”

Norris desperate behind Sainz: There was nothing we could have done

Lando Norris, on the other hand, did not make it onto the podium. Instead, he had to spend almost the entire race looking at Carlos Sainz’s rear. He overtook the Spaniard on lap one after he fell behind with a flat tire. But at the restart, the stewards restored the original starting order. Lucky for Sainz, unlucky for Norris.

“If Carlos had had another flat tire, we might have passed him,” joked Norris after the race. “We couldn’t have done anything because we were driving so slowly. Everyone was controlling the race, there was nothing we could do. Carlos was lucky.”

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