Oscar Piastri 11 thousandths behind Max Verstappen: his applause commentary

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A rousing second place, coldly greeted with great irony.

Max Verstappen also on pole in the Sprint Shootout of the Belgian Grand Prix generated quite a few regrets. For Charles Leclerc, fourth after a small but decisive mistake in Turn 9, Carlos Sainz who finished third with the other Ferrari just 25 thousandths behind the Dutchman’s Red Bull, but above all Oscar Piastri. The Australian McLaren talent in fact stopped in second place, 11 thousandths behind the poleman.

Hot on the heels of the race, his disappointment was clear, evidenced by a barrage of “beeps” in his team radio with the McLaren race wall. Afterwards, however, Piastri managed to ironize about his simultaneously extraordinary and incredibly disappointing second place. “I will say that I did it on purpose,” he joked in fact.

He soon explained the reasons for his remark. “If there is a track where you would like to start second instead of first, I think this is it,” Piastri in fact added. At Spa, in fact, those who start alongside the poleman can take advantage of the innermost position in the first corner (La Source) and also the subsequent slipstream in the very long Kemmel straight.

However, Piastri later also moved on to a further, more serious analysis. “A delay of 11 hundredths can accrue in a lot of places and very easily. So at the end of the day, I was very happy after that lap. I realized that I had done a good job, while being aware that those 11 thousandths I could have gained anywhere,” the McLaren driver concluded.

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