Floor damage made Piastri welcome Monaco’s red flag

Oscar Piastri welcomed the long red flag delay and lack of overtaking at the Monaco Grand Prix as it helped him hold onto second place despite significant floor damage.

Carlos Sainz was attempting to go side-by-side with Piastri through the first corner on the original start of the race and the pair touched, with Sainz picking up a puncture that saw him go straight on at Casino Square. A bigger crash behind between Sergio Perez and the Haas drivers neutralized the race and allowed Sainz to restart in third but also gave McLaren time to try and repair Piastri’s car so he could retain second to the flag.

“I definitely felt the touch at Turn 1 and at that part of the car, it’s such a sensitive part,” Piastri said. “The team told me how much downforce I was losing before we tried to fix it and it was a pretty big number. I don’t know what we managed to get it down to, but yeah, obviously the length of the red flag helped us out quite a lot there.


“Being in Monaco, it’s probably the one track where having damage doesn’t hurt you as much. It was a very, very small touch. But with these cars, especially with the floor being so sensitive to the downforce it generates, it can ruin your race very easily. I was very happy we could try and fix it.

“It was OK. I think for the first half of the race, it was impossible to tell what the penalty of that was. I think towards the end, probably a combination of trying to keep the pace of the race reasonably quick, plus the floor, I just struggled a little bit towards the end, but overall pretty happy with it. The last 10 laps or so, I was pretty happy we were in Monaco.”

Piastri picked up his first podium of the season with the second place, and believes it has been a long time coming this year with the pace McLaren has been able to show.

“I’m very, very happy. My third podium in F1 — certainly it doesn’t get old.,” he said. “Very happy to have it here in Monaco especially — if there’s one podium apart from your home podium that you want to stand on, it’s probably here.

“Very, very pleased for the whole team. I think especially for our side of the garage, it’s been a promising few weekends now and nice to finally get a good result out of it.”

The Australian also admits he had one attempt at looking to pass leader Charles Leclerc early on in the race given the way he was controlling the lap times, but once he had shown any intent then the Ferrari was able to cover any future attacks off.

“I had an attempt about 10 or 15 laps in, into Turn 8,” he said. “We were going pretty slow. I think at one point we were going slower than Formula 2. When you’re going that slow, you’ve got a fair few options, but I kind of knew that once I showed my hand in where I was going to try and overtake, that he would probably be wise to it from there.

“So I managed to get very close in Turn 7, one lap. I tried to show the nose in Turn 8 but he reacted just quick enough, so after that point I knew I was going to be very limited on options.”

Story originally appeared on Racer