Piastri angered by ’embarrassing’ grid drop at Austrian F1, McLaren protest rejected



McLaren’s Oscar Piastri says his drop from third to seventh on the Austrian Grand Prix starting grid for exceeding track limits in qualifying is “embarrassing” for Formula 1. 

Track limits violations — in which drivers place all four wheels over the white line marking the edge of the track — made headlines at Spielberg last year due to the huge number of incidents.

There were 1,200 in the race alone.

This year, gravel strips have been placed outside turns nine and 10 but Australia’s Piastri fell foul of the stewards for apparently going too far at turn six.

“For me, it’s embarrassing,” Piastri told Great Britain’s Sky Sports.

“We do all this work with track limits, put gravel in places and I didn’t even go off the track, I stayed on the track.

“It was probably my best turn six and it gets deleted.

“I don’t know why they’ve spent hundreds of thousands or millions trying to change the last two corners when you still have corners you can go off.

“There’s no reason this corner should be an issue for track limits, especially when you stay on the track like I did. Or not in the gravel.

“I think it’s embarrassing that you see us pushing right to the limit of what we can do and if I am 1 centimetre more I’m in the gravel.”

McLaren protested against Piastri’s drop but this was rejected.

“A decision of the stewards is not open to protest,” stewards said in a statement.

“Additionally, the protest does not meet several of the required criteria for the admissibility of a protest … the stewards therefore reject the protest as it is inadmissible.”

Piastri’s teammate Lando Norris qualified second and will start alongside Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen, who won the sprint from pole on Saturday (local time).

Reuters

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