Piastri targeting Monaco victory after front row commitment

Oscar Piastri believes his qualifying performance at the last two races have shown his confidence to be committed on tough circuits and is targeting victory at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc secured pole position in Monaco with Piastri second on the street circuit, following the same performance in Imola a week ago. On that first occasion, Piastri lost his front row starting spot due to an impeding incident earlier in the session, but he says both tracks have similarities that allow him to display how confident he is with the upgraded McLaren.

“I think we came into this weekend pretty confident that we could be in the fight for pole and the win again,” Piastri said. “Going into qualifying, maybe we weren’t as convinced this week. But no, it felt good. Pretty hooked up in qualifying.


“And I think for me, we say Imola and Monaco are very different circuits, but both of them need a lot of commitment. Imola you get it a bit wrong, you’re in the gravel trap and the wall. Here there’s no gravel trap, it’s just the wall, so they’re both two pretty big commitment tracks, obviously here being a step above everywhere — maybe a bit more similar than people think.”

With Leclerc on the inside and a short distance to Turn 1, Piastri still believes he has a shot at taking the lead at the start, or through the pit stop phase to beat the Ferrari.

“The run to Turn 1 is always your best chance at any track,” he said. “Here, obviously, it’s a very short run. You can try something with [the strategy], because…unless there’s a massive pace difference — which I’m pretty sure there won’t be — then overtaking is impossible here. It’ll be won or lost in the pits probably, so [we’ll] make sure we have a good day.”

Piastri’s teammate was still positive about starting from fourth despite missing out on the front row, as Norris highlighted an unusual issue that affected him early in the session.

“Oscar finished second, so he did a good job,” Norris said. “But he’s been doing a very good job all weekend, to be honest. I think I’m very happy, as a team we should be happy with a second and fourth at a street circuit and to be as close to Ferrari as we were. We knew they would be close to the favorites this weekend, so to split them and have Oscar there I think is a good sign.

“Of course I would love to have had P3, but it’s such a small margin, such a little bit of lap time here or there, although misjudging something by the smallest amount can cost you. I’m still happy I got more in rhythm come Q3.

“Q1 was a bit stressful because part of stickers from the barriers came off and got stuck under my car, which then cost me the tires and things like that. It was a bit of a mess, but [things happen] in F1 because it could have cost me my whole weekend. I was lucky to get through, otherwise I think it was a good day for us.”

Norris says F1 and the FIA did not listen to driver concerns about the advertising that was getting ripped off the barriers on regular occasions during the weekend.

“I had to pit to get it off,” he said. “It just shouldn’t happen in Formula 1. It’s a bit silly in my opinion; we said it would happen yesterday and they said they were going to fix it but obviously it wasn’t fixed. It’s a shame that you have to get lucky; I was lucky that I had enough time, otherwise it would have ruined my qualifying and my whole weekend.

“There is nothing I can do. It can only ruin your race at the minute. They need to come up with a better solution than just stickers because of course we are touching the wall and all this stuff, but it’s not acceptable that this can ruin your whole weekend, just for some stickers and things like that. They need to find a better solution.”

Story originally appeared on Racer