Piastri reveals secrets behind improved McLaren qualifying

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After McLaren locked out the third row of the grid in Saudi Arabia, Oscar Piastri has divulged the details behind the effort.

Piastri ended the session in fifth place and narrowly edged out teammate Lando Norris who tailed closely behind in sixth.

It marked an improved effort from McLaren compared to the season-opening race in Bahrain, where the duo secured starting positions on the fourth row.

McLaren was adamant that its Bahrain form would not be reflective of its true pace for the season ahead as it has traditionally struggled around the configuration.

Piastri stated that the track characteristics in Jeddah played into McLaren’s hands during qualifying.

“The car felt pretty good, it’s probably the happiest I’ve been with the car so far,” Piastri told media including RacingNews365.

“With the track surface here and the circuit layout as well, it’s just a little bit more friendly to us versus Bahrain.”

Piastri explains wall tap

Piastri’s qualifying session almost concluded early as he clipped the outside wall on the exit of the final corner in Q1.

Explaining the escape, the two-time podium finisher revealed that set-up work on his car was too conservative during free practice which resulted in a more unpredictable car for qualifying.

“I think just purely on the setup side of things, we maybe weren’t aggressive enough in practice with certain things,” Piastri said.

“In qualifying, maybe [we] overdid it a little bit and [we] had to wind it back a bit.

“That’s mainly the limitation, I think our car still has the same limitations as when we go elsewhere.

“But maybe just the track grip here and the circuit layout helps us out a little bit. So sort of the same things that we’re trying to tackle.”

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