Oscar Piastri was forced to retire from this morning’s United States Grand Prix after obtaining damage in an unfortunate Lap 1 run-in with Esteban Ocon.
Starting from a disappointing P10, the Grand Prix was a chance for Piastri to work his way further into the points, searching for a positive result after finishing points-less in yesterday’s Sprint.
Off the line, Piastri made up four positions to take Turn 1 in P6, running behind Max Verstappen for the opening stint of the race.
However, what was seemingly minor Lap 1 contact with Esteban Ocon out of Turn 2 resulted in the pair of drivers ultimately retiring due to damage.
After his car was unsettled by a bump in the road, Ocon was fighting his car as he exited the second corner, unable to avoid contact with the McLaren who sped past on the outside run to Turn 3.
The Alpine trickled down the order, awaiting the inevitable for the third time in five races.
Ocon retired on Lap 7 after sustaining significant sidepod damage from contact with Piastri’s rear tyre, impacting significantly on the A523’s downforce across the lap.
Piastri was able to manage his damage for a short while, even bringing the challenge to Max Verstappen into Turn 12.
On Lap 11, however, his race came to a premature end.
“It didn’t seem like a massive incident, you know, just a bit of a touch but I think it broke one of the radiators so everything was getting very hot,” Piastri said.
“When everything’s overheating on Lap 10 it’s not going to do another 45 laps.
“It seemed ok, I was surprised by the damage but it is what it is.”
The young Australian was instructed to keep his foot off the throttle, lifting and coasting all the way back to the pits before being wheeled into his garage.
Radiator damage and a water leak proved terminal for the disappointed 22-year-old, whose run of highly praised accolades came to an end this weekend.
“Unfortunately, it’s a shame for Oscar because it would have been a double strong finish in the points,” McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella said.
The rookie’s McLaren teammate, Lando Norris, finished the United States Grand Prix on the podium for the fourth Grand Prix in a row, taking the chequered flag in P3.
Additionally, Norris’ podium, and a DNF from Fernando Alonso, allowed McLaren to move up the ranks into P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.
The team now sits 7 points ahead of Aston Martin as they head off to the Mexico City Grand Prix for part two of the triple-header next weekend.
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Source : Auto Action