‘A few hiccups’, but Piastri learned plenty from F1 testing

Australia’s Oscar Piastri says there was lots to digest, and a few hiccups, from his first official Formula 1 testing sessions as a McLaren driver.

After three days of testing in Bahrain, Piastri believes he and McLaren teammate Lando Norris will be mid-pack in the F1 season-opening grand prix next weekend.

Oscar Piastri talks to media in the paddock during day three of testing in Bahrain.Credit:Getty Images

Piastri’s testing sessions ended with the Australian spinning his McLaren MCL60 on Saturday’s final day – by fastest times logged, he finished 19th of 20 drivers on the day with Norris the 11th quickest.

Piastri, entering his first season with an F1 seat, managed 44 laps on the last day with Norris banking only 37 amid a number of issues at McLaren.

“We have had a few hiccups as a team,” Piastri told reporters in Bahrain.

“We’ve also had some solid running as well, it’s been a reasonable test, I would say.

“Personally, I have learned a lot.

Piastri logs some laps in his McLaren.Credit:Getty Images

“There’s still some areas to try and master and hone in on more, but I think I have got a pretty clear direction on where I can improve myself.

“Half the battle sometimes is knowing where to improve. So I think I’m quite confident that now it’s just putting it into action with some more laps.”

In testing, McLaren recorded the lowest overall kilometres of the 10 teams with Piastri acknowledging a need to be fast learners ahead of next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“We’re about where we expect it to be,” he said.

“We’re probably somewhere in the mix of the midfield is my best guess at the moment.

“Of course we don’t know exactly where everyone is at in terms of fuel and engine modes and stuff like that so we’ll find out on Saturday next week where everyone really is.

“But I think we’re about where we expected.”

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez topped times on the final day after his teammate and reigning world champion Max Verstappen led the first test day.

Alfa Romea’s Zhou Guanyu was quickest, ahead of Verstappen, on day two.


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