Oscar Piastri has been left ‘disappointed’ after qualifying sixth for the Belgian Grand Prix, saying that he was lacking confidence in the closing stages of Q3.
For the duration of the qualifying hour, Piastri looked to be a contender for pole position. The Australian routinely set fastest sector times and even progressed into the top ten shootout after topping Q2.
With just one practice session, which saw extremely limited running for all, to prepare for qualifying, the rookie was unable to fully hook-up a final effort in Q3.
“Given the last two weekends, I almost feel a little bit disappointed with P6,” Piastri said after the session.
“We were having a very, very strong session; maybe the last part wasn’t amazing. I think as the track dried, it was getting more back to normal, let’s say – but that’s not normal for me, because I’ve never done a lap in an F1 car here.
“So I think I was just lacking a bit of confidence at the end to push.”
Beginning with Lando Norris’ car in Austria, substantial upgrades have arrived to the MCL60 which have delivered highly impressive results and demonstrated the intentions of the Woking based side. In both of the previous two races, Norris has finished as runner-up while Piastri still awaits a maiden podium off the back of consecutive top five finishes.
Piastri also impressed in FP1 which was held in full wet conditions. He ended the session second fastest despite only clocking four laps.
But with the track drying out throughout qualifying, the conditions were less favourable to Piastri who felt there was plenty of room for improvement.
“I was quite enjoying the mixed conditions, so a shame we can’t be a bit higher.
“We are in a decent spot for Sunday, obviously with Max’s penalty. Fifth on the grid, sixth at Turn 1, but not a bad day’s work.
“I thought my lap in Q3 was decent. There was a little bit left to be desired in a few places. As the track was drying up, it was tricky to know where to break, especially when I haven’t driven here in quite a while and never in an F1 car. It doesn’t make it easy, but I feel there was a little bit more, not 1.2 seconds for pole but we could’ve been close to Charles [Leclerc].
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Sprint, Piastri is hoping to maximise what looks to be a very wet day in the Ardennes.
“Tomorrow’s looking more wet from what I’ve seen. We expected today to be fully wet, but we ended up on slicks for half of the session.
“We’ll see what we get [this weekend], but I think we can be confident we will be decent in all conditions. We’ll see how we do.”