Piastri calls track limits situation ‘embarrassing’ after deleted lap time

Oscar Piastri has described the track limits situation at the Austrian Grand Prix “embarrassing” after having his fastest lap time in qualifying deleted for running too wide at Turn 6.

Qualifying for the GP appeared to provide the exact same top six order as sprint qualifying on Friday as Piastri went third behind Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, but then the Australian had his lap time deleted for exceeding track limits. Turn 6 has gravel right up to the exit curb and Piastri almost dipped a wheel in the gravel, but that meant there was just enough space for his car to no longer be in contract with the track edge, and he feels it shouldn’t count as exceeding limits.

“For me it’s embarrassing,” Piastri told Sky Sports. “We do all this work for track limits, put gravel in in places, and I didn’t even go off the track. I stayed on the track, probably my best Turn 6 and it gets deleted. I mean, I don’t know why they’ve spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions, trying to change the last two corners when you still have corners you can go off. But anyway, everyone else kept it in the track, I didn’t — that’s how it goes.


“For me that was probably the best Turn 6 I took. I was right to the limit of the track. I think that’s what everyone wants to see — again, we’ve spent so much effort trying to get rid of these problems, there is no reason this corner should be an issue for track limits, especially when you stay on the track like I did. Or not, in the gravel.

“Yeah, for me, obviously being the only one that’s had that happen to me I’m probably more vocal about it right now, but I think it’s embarrassing that you see us pushing right to the limit of what we can do and if I’m one centimeter more I’m in the gravel and completely ruin my lap anyway, and it gets deleted.”

Although he believes the gravel trap should police the track limits by penalizing drivers for touching it, Piastri says the need to push to the limits is a positive aspect of how competitive F1 is right now.

“It’s painful. It’s frustrating. But, at the end of the day, it is the same for everybody,” he conceded. “Sometimes you’re on the good end of being a few milliseconds faster, and some weekends you’re on the other end and you’re a few milliseconds slower.

“I saw in Q1 that, I think, from like P6 to P15 was like half a tenth, which I think for the sport is a fantastic thing. But for us as drivers… it makes life tough, and the laps we do out there are really pushing to the absolute limit — or over, it turns out.

“So, I think it’s just a really cool thing for everyone involved. Obviously it makes life at the very front a bit more difficult and you can’t make any mistakes at all. But that’s how Formula 1 should be.”

The McLaren driver is hopeful he can still recover a number of positions from seventh on the grid, given the pace shown in the sprint where he finished second.

“I think we can. It will be tough. I think Max [Verstappen] looked to be a step ahead of everyone [in qualifying],” he said. “It seems very tight between us, Mercedes and Ferrari, I would say. But the pace was good in the sprint, there’s more strategy involved — just more opportunities [in the GP]. So, hopefully, we can try to capitalize on some of them and make some progress back towards the front.”

Story originally appeared on Racer