Piastri ‘surprised’ by McLaren team orders

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Oscar Piastri was “surprised” that McLaren imposed team orders on
their drivers in the closing stages of the Qatar Grand Prix. The
Australian and teammate Lando Norris finished 1.1 seconds apart,
but Team Principal Andrea Stella confirmed they imposed team orders
after their final mandated pit stop. Norris felt he was quicker on
the fresher Hard tyres, but the team elected to conserve their
double podium due to excessive tyre wear and conditions. The 47
points they came away with over the weekend now puts them within
striking distance of Aston Martin, who sit just 11 points ahead in
fourth for the Constructors' Championship. “I was a little bit
surprised to be honest. I would have accepted it either way,”
Piastri told media, including RacingNews365 . “But obviously there
was a lot of concerns about tyres and track limits and stuff. I
think getting second and third for the team was the most important
thing.” Piastri: Heaven's parted on the way to P2 Piastri gained a
lot of positions at the start of the race from sixth on the grid,
with the Australian confirming that he effectively managed to stay
out of trouble. “Hit the brakes at the right time, and watch
everyone else go off! Yeah, honestly, it was as simple as that,”
said Piastri. “I don't really know what happened. Obviously, saw
some cars spinning and whatever else but the heavens kind of just
parted way for me and through to second I went.” McLaren has showed
encouraging pace in the last few races, with them being the closest
challengers to Red Bull. The mandated stops enabled both drivers to
go “flat out” according to Piastri, which enabled them to cut Max
Verstappen's usual win margin from over 20 seconds to 4.8 seconds.
“I think this race was very different to Japan, obviously with
three stops, I think we were basically pushing flat out for the
whole race,” explained Piastri. “”It's a very different kind of
race. But, I think, still some work to go.”

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