Oscar Piastri reveals ‘major failure’ he raced on with in Miami

Henry Valantine
McLaren driver Oscar Piastri. Jeddah March 2023.

Oscar Piastri stands in the McLaren garage. Saudi Arabia March 2023.

Oscar Piastri said he was racing with a “major failure” on his brake-by-wire system on his McLaren for most of the Miami Grand Prix, which hampered his progress on Sunday.

It ended up being a disappointing afternoon for the McLaren rookie in Florida, having made up more places than anyone on the opening lap – jumping past five cars at the start of the race in an encouraging beginning to his Miami Grand Prix.

But he would later fall away from the pace and be overtaken by most of the remainder of the field, eventually coming home second-last and a lap down on eventual race winner Max Verstappen.

Piastri later revealed it was a brake-by-wire issue that caused his lack of pace on Sunday, and team principal Andrea Stella acknowledged the young Australian did an “incredible job” to race as he did with such a problem on the car.

But that did not take away the sense of frustration for Piastri after the race, who was forced to nurse the issue on his MCL60 for 50 of the 57 laps around Miami.

“I had a lot of issues on the car in the race,” Piastri told F1 TV afterwards.

“We had some kind of quite major failure about six or seven laps in on the brake-by-wire and energy recovery, something like that. So, I was managing a lot of issues after that.

“I had a really good Lap 1, which was the highlight of the weekend, I think. But yeah, frustrating afternoon just trying to drive around the issues.

“It’s been a tough weekend, but I think we’re still very motivated to try and get the car further to the front.

“I think Baku was obviously a very different weekend to this one where we were a lot faster, so we need to understand why that was a good weekend relative to where we were and why this weekend is bad.

“Obviously, the reliability issues and stuff in the race we need to get on top of as well, but I think the mood in the team is still good, we’ve got a lot of races left this year to try and improve our performance and achieve our goals.”

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As for team-mate Lando Norris, he did not fare too much better either, admitting he too struggled for speed in the sister McLaren as he finished 17th on Sunday.

He was hit from behind at the start after Nyck de Vries locked up and went into the back of his car at Turn 1, fell down to the back and could not recover much further from there.

“Tough day. We just struggled with pace,” he said.

“I had a good start, but we got hit from behind into Turn 1, which then put us at the back. We had tried a different strategy, which required something exciting to happen during the race, but it didn’t work.

“We’ll go back to MTC, reset and keep pushing hard for a better result in the next one.”

McLaren remain P5 in the Constructors’ standings, but are now tied with Alpine on 14 points.