‘Good thing I didn’t open the radio’ – Oscar Piastri verdict cast on ‘incredibly tough’ Lando Norris strategy battle

Elizabeth Blackstock
Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris of McLaren before the 2024 British GP

Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris of McLaren before the 2024 British GP

Oscar Piastri feels that his McLaren had a clear shot at winning the British Grand Prix — but one wrong pit call left him behind teammate Lando Norris, trying to catch up.

Piastri said it was “probably a good thing I didn’t open the radio” when, after avoiding a doublestack pit stop as the rain began to fall during the British Grand Prix, he realized that his inters-shod teammate had caught up to him.

Oscar Piastri knew he’d made the wrong call “basically instantly”

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

The McLarens were running 1-2 in the British Grand Prix when a light rain shower turned heavy, prompting drivers on slick tires to pit for intermediate rubber. While teams like Mercedes opted to doublestack its drivers — or, to bring both in for back-to-back tire changes — McLaren made a different call.

When given a choice between doublestacking or staying out while teammate Norris pitted, Piastri opted to remain on the track — a decision he told PlanetF1.com he knew as “the wrong call basically instantly,” as soon as he went by pit entry.

Piastri admitted that doublestacking was an option but added, “I think we just need to review if we put enough weight on that decision.

“When the two cars are so close like that, you lose a lot of time from doing a doublestack. The conditions were getting trickier but it was very, very hard to judge.

“It was really only half the track that was really difficult until the lap that I stayed out. Then the whole track became difficult.

“Just very very difficult for everybody involved.

“In hindsight, that double stack would have given us a very good chance of winning.”

As Piastri struggled with a damp track, Lando Norris soon appeared in his rearview mirror.

“It’s probably a good thing I didn’t open the radio,” he said, referring to the moment he realized Norris had caught him on fresh intermediate rubber.

“I was obviously frustrated at that point, but I knew that there was rain still coming.

“After the first couple of laps, I could see that the cars ahead had clearly used up their inters a lot in the first couple of laps. So I was actually optimiztic at that point, but I kind of hit the same walls as everyone else.

‘But I knew we would have more chances later in the race with getting back onto the slicks, the choice of tires we had.

“I knew there’d be more opportunities, so I just tried to give ourselves the best chance of still trying to win.”

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Unfortunately, Piastri felt that his call to bypass the doublestack ultimately hurt him in the long run.

“I think every other decision, we absolutely nailed in that race,” Piastri said.

“Me and Lando put ourselves in a great position getting to the lead.

“I think the decision on my side to put a medium on was the right call, because I think we were clearly the quickest at the end.

“It’s just a shame that we weren’t in a better position in the middle of the race.”

Read next: Uncovered: The Max Verstappen data that gives McLaren a valuable strategy lesson