[Piastri makes FIA track limits joke after Qatar F1 sprint pole
The McLaren driver, who found out he had lost third place on the grid for Sunday’s race live during a television interview on Friday, said he did not want to get disappointed again in light of the potential delay in penalties being handed out.
Speaking straight after the session, as he edged out team-mate Lando Norris to secure a McLaren front row for Saturday’s sprint, Piastri smiled about waiting for the final nod that he was actually on pole.
“Yeah, very, very happy,” he said. “I might just give the FIA five minutes first to make sure I’m actually on pole!
“But as long as that’s okay, then very, very happy. It was a pretty good lap.
“I saw Lando on the big screen made a mistake at the last corner, so I don’t know what his lap was looking like, but I’m very, very happy.”
The sprint shootout session was marred by another barrage of track limits penalties, with a host of drivers – including Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez having times disallowed.
While McLaren ended up with its cars locking out the front row for Saturday’s sprint race, Piastri said it had not been an easy session as he felt things were getting away from him early on.
“I think I struggled quite a bit in the first two parts of that qualifying, but then got my act together a bit more for the last one,” he said.
Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Piastri’s pole came after an intriguing build-up to track running, following concerns about potential tyre problems for Sunday’s race.
Drivers were given an extra 10-minute practice session to get used to a new track limits layout at Turns 12-13, where a painted kerb had now opened up the door to further issues of drivers running wide.
Asked how the modifications were, Piastri said: “Yeah, it changes it a bit. I think also, because it’s a painted kerb, it’s impossible to know where it is. We can’t see it.
“So yeah, it makes things a bit more difficult. But obviously, it’s the same for everyone.”