Oscar Piastri has outlined the debilitating effect of the illness he suffered in Baku, revealing he lost three kilograms of weight and could not stomach more than four pieces of toast over the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.
The McLaren man has made an accomplished start to his Formula 1 career in 2023, scoring his first points with eighth place at his home race in Melbourne, but had to overcome an altogether different challenge in Baku.
The Australian is believed to have come down with food poisoning ahead of the fourth round of the season, but still managed to secure a place in Q3 in Friday qualifying.
Piastri missed McLaren’s media session in the aftermath of Saturday’s sprint race, in which he was classified 10th, before just missing out on the points with a P11 finish in Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Both team and driver referenced his physical struggles over team radio at the end of the race – strongly suggesting Piastri had been kept at a distance from other members of the team as a precaution – with the 22-year-old commenting: “I haven’t seen many of you a lot this weekend but that’s appreciated. Big shoutout to the doc as well.”
His race engineer, Tom Stallard, replied: “Oscar, I know you’re right that we haven’t seen you much but I think everyone’s pretty impressed by the weekend you’ve managed to put together.”
With a short turnaround ahead of this weekend’s Miami GP, Piastri has explained the effect of his upset stomach on his weekend.
According to MailOnline, he said: “Through the race, the illness didn’t impact me too much but I’m a lot lighter than I was at the start of the weekend.
“[Race day was] probably the best I’ve felt all weekend but that isn’t saying much.
“It’s been very difficult, physically. Especially [Saturday] was pretty rough.
“I’ve had about four pieces of toast for the whole weekend, so I need to get some food back in me before Miami.”
Piastri later took to Twitter to reflect on a tough weekend, posting: “Not felt great all weekend so frustrated not to get points but happy to be fighting for the top 10 positions throughout. Time to recover ahead of Miami!”
McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was impressed by Piastri’s ability to overcome his physical frailties to deliver a competitive performance in Baku, where the team debuted a long-awaited upgrade package.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle so he’s actually been doing very well, I would say, in terms of driving,” Stella said, per The Race.
“You wouldn’t be able to say from the outside that the driver is actually not feeling very well.
“Oscar is impressive in the way he deals with that because he doesn’t really want to show it even to us.
“He keeps his calm, keeps his bearing, but we know that he is struggling.
“So he is doing well.”