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Oscar Piastri Shines in McLarens Impressive Qatar Grand Prix Weekend

McLaren had a dominant weekend at the Qatar Grand Prix, with Oscar Piastri winning the sprint race, a double podium finish, and a new Formula 1 record being set.

Piastri won his first Formula 1 event in the Saturday Sprint, as the rookie held off George Russell and three-time Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen to secure his first win.

“It’s been a very fun day,” Piastri said. “Happy we could come out on top.”

Lando Norris, Piastri’s teammate, also finished third in the sprint. The two combined for 14 points towards McLaren in the Constructors Standings on Saturday alone.

Despite having such a great sprint race last weekend, the two McLarens did not have the greatest starting positions on the grid for the race on Sunday. Piastri started in sixth on the grid, while Norris started in 10th. However these positions did not hold the drivers back from having a great race.

Piastri quickly gained positions in the race on the first lap, when Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton crashed into his teammate George Russell. Piastri immediately took advantage of this collision, jolting from sixth to second place in a matter of seconds. The Australian driver stayed in second place for the remainder of the race, making his second podium in a row.

Lando Norris did not have as easy of a race as Piastri did. Norris battled for a majority of the race to gain as many positions as possible. Lando ultimately finished in third place, his third podium in a row, and fifth of the year.

One of the biggest reasons Norris was able to move up so many spots was because of his 1.80 second pit-stop on lap 27 of the race. The McLaren pit crew set a new world record for the fastest Formula 1 pit-stop ever, beating Red Bull’s previous record by 0.02 seconds.

“I just want to say a big thanks to the team, they did an amazing job all weekend,” Norris stated. “A 1.8 second pit-stop, one of the best ones ever, and it's the hardest in terms of doing that and delivering it.”

After this weekend, McLaren gained a hefty 47 points in the Constructors Standings. 26 from Piastri and 21 from Norris now put McLaren just 11 points away from Aston Martin in fourth place.

“Second and third for the team is an amazing result,” Piastri said. “It’s been an amazing weekend in general.” 

McLaren will look to continue the great success they had in Qatar into the last five races of the 2023 Formula 1 season.


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