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Stella Praises Piastri's Progress at Suzuka

Stella Praises Piastri’s Progress at Suzuka

14/04/2024

McLaren F1’s Andrea Stella commends Oscar Piastri’s improvement in Japan, dismissing earlier critiques.

McLaren F1 Director Andrea Stella is pleased to see Oscar Piastri’s progress. The Italian does not believe that criticisms stating the driver’s weekend in Japan was worse than in 2023 are justified, and he asserts that the Australian performed better this year at Suzuka.

“I think with Oscar, I would prefer to see how much we have progressed compared to last year, here at Suzuka. Oscar qualified very well, but he struggled a bit in the race,” notes Stella.

“Definitely much more than this year. So, from there, in a few races, because Japan was towards the end of the season, Oscar has made significant progress in terms of managing tire wear during races.”

Stella is convinced that Piastri’s progression curve will allow him to continue improving in performance and tire economy in the future: “But it’s clear that when degradation is so high, it requires a lot of practice.”

“It takes experience to improve degradation by 5%. And if you improve it by 5%, you save quite a bit of time. So, we have made a lot of progress. We are satisfied with these advancements. And now we are talking about incremental gains, which come with experience and development.”

The Italian thinks that Piastri was overtaken by George Russell towards the end of the race because he wore down his tires following Fernando Alonso, and that tire degradation and overheating are the worst problems on track.

“I think following was always an issue, but you lose a lot more time due to tire degradation, as soon as someone has greater degradation, or when a car with newer tires meets a car with older tires.”

“You have such a difference in pace, and you can see people attacking at the hairpin, or in Spoon. So, it’s tire degradation that dominates the effect of slipstreaming.”

Stella Praises Piastri's Progress at Suzuka

Stella Praises Piastri’s Progress at Suzuka. Stella Praises Piastri’s Progress at Suzuka.

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