McLaren’s 2024 Issues Hurting Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri
Oscar Piastri

Truth be told, it might not seem as though the 2024 McLaren machine has any significant issues as such; after all, Lando Norris only recently picked up a podium as seen at Melbourne, which was a first for him as well as his racing outfit this season. However, truth certainly is that the McLaren stable have faced their share of issues so far this season that have sort of hampered their racing output weekend after weekend.

But while thanks to a maiden podium for 2024, Lando Norris hasn’t found himself grappling with critique thrown at him, despite not being hugely experienced and hence, evading the window of critical appraisal (being such a young driver), Oscar Piastri’s issues have so far gone unnoticed.

That’s when Oscar Piastri himself underlined the drivability issues with his McLaren, particularly at the hard-to-drive Japanese Grand Prix, which was recently held at Suzuka, such a famed venue.

While on the outset, it may not seem as though the young Australian has been evidencing some testing times, having scored points in every single race this season, his not really being rampant during most race weekends and not being able to score consistent top five finishes truly point to some pertinent but also persisting issues with the MCL 38.

For starters, there’s a lack of DRS efficiency with the current machine, something that was rightly pointed out by none other than McLaren team principal, Andrea Stella. This lack of picking pace despite having DRS affects the straight line speed of the current car.

This weakling was discussed at the conclusion of the closely-watched action at Melbourne’s Albert Park. Precisely, the issue that for someone like Aston Martin is anything but because where the British outfit is concerned, it is in fact, an area of key strength particularly for the fast approaching Chinese Grand Prix. A few hours ago, Fernando Alonso highlighted this.

Secondly, the lack of grip and therefore, hampering of speed particularly in the corners also tends to affect the overall performance of the McLaren.

At fast, twisty tracks such as Saudi Arabia, the problem came to the fore. Even as Oscar Piastri salvaged some sort of performance by notching up a P4, his teammate could only manage a lowly eighth. Other Constructors, most notably- Red Bull and Ferrari were flying at this high-speed venue.

But while Oscar Piastri has maintained immense calm and shown maturity despite grappling with existing woes of the car, the bright Aussie doesn’t seem to be giving into pressure; he knows that currently the clear task of his team is to take the fight to Mercedes, who themselves have tons of their own issues with the car.

But as fresh upgrades are expected, though not long before race number six or seven concludes this year, it is important to hold on and be optimistic in the face of the odds.

Oscar Piastri, who’ll be desperate for a top three finish this season having not found any so far, may certainly want to remain that way.

The following is what Andrea Stella had to share most recently with respect to the current car, “We are extremely happy with the rate of development over the last 12 months, but there’s, I would say, another 12 months’ development that we need to go through to actually offer a car that is strong in DRS and is strong in the long corners.”

Oscar Piastri, 32 points so far, despite not driving a fully blazing car, is holding on well to P6 in the 2024 Drivers’ Standings and is standing ahead of George Russell and Fernando Alonso.

Oscar Piastri
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, leads Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38, and Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

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