Oscar Piastri admits it “hurts” to miss out on his first-ever podium finish in Formula 1, but asserts he’s “happy to be disappointed with P4”.
Piastri was running in third place in the opening half of the grand prix, following his starring performance during qualifying on Saturday.
The Australian was one of the first front-runners to make a pit stop and lost track position to Lewis Hamilton when a Safety Car was deployed.
Piastri hung on to fourth place until the chequered flag to take valuable points for McLaren alongside team-mate Lando Norris, who finished the race in second place.
Despite the disappointment of missing a podium result in his rookie season, Piastri was upbeat over the team’s performance during the grand prix.
“[There’s] still a bit more to come too, which is exciting,” Piastri said.
“I’ve got the new front wing next weekend which Lando had, which is exciting, couple more other bits, so yeah, nice to know we’re fighting here, we still have a little bit more to come.
“Clearly the upgrade’s a massive step forward, very good step forward over one lap, but the race pace is clearly where we’ve made a massive jump.
“Going into the race I was maybe slightly cautious we’d hit reverse like we have done recently.
“But if anything it was even stronger than Austria, so that was super exciting, yeah, it hurts a little bit to be P4 when we were looking on for a podium for so long.
“[We were a] bit unlucky with the Safety Car timing, but I’m just so happy that I’m disappointed with fourth place instead of what we’ve been disappointed with earlier in the season.”
Piastri had a strong start from third on the grid and challenged pole-sitter Max Verstappen into the first corner, with Norris moving into the lead.
Asked about his launch off the line, Piastri said: [It was] pretty exciting to be honest.
“When I got off the line and was like ‘OK I’ve got the best start out of everyone here’ and [I] had to find somewhere to go, ran out of space.
“But I think the more exciting part was being able to hang onto the back of him [Verstappeen] for a few laps, and even for the rest of the race it wasn’t like he was stupidly quicker than us.
“So that was very exciting to be genuinely the second-quickest team today exceeded all of our expectations, so yeah, nice to be back at the front.”