Oscar Piastri says he apportions no blame in the Turn 1 incident on the first lap that led to his retirement from the Belgian Grand Prix.
Despite starting on the harder Medium tyre compared to those around him on Softs, Piastri, who lined up fifth, got a good launch and positioned himself to the inside of Carlos Sainz into the La Source hairpin.
However, Sainz’s late dart to the middle of the track created a three-wide situation with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes on the outside, resulting in Piastri being sandwiched and making contact against the inside wall.
The Australian picked up damage that would see his race come to an end shortly after, marking a disappointing close to the first half of his rookie campaign.
“I think it’s quite firmly in the category of a Lap 1, Turn 1 incident,” he reflected.
“I got a good start, got my nose alongside, when we got to the braking zone Carlos moved to the right and locked up, I also had to try and avoid that a bit, and then from there to the apex my options were quite limited in where I can go.
“I’ll look back over it and see if there’s more I could have done but it’s a shame we’re standing here and not on track.”
Piastri, though, hasn’t held Sainz responsible for instigating the clash, contending that both drivers involved could have potentially positioned their cars differently.
“I think looking back on it, we both could have done things a bit differently, yeah,” he expressed.
“It’s looking like it’s a tricky race for Lando [Norris] out there but yeah we both could have done things a bit differently, it’s a very tight Turn 1, Carlos also didn’t have many options from where Lewis was either, a shame.”
He later added: “I think from Carlos’ point of view the move to the right surprised me a bit, then for myself, form there I was quite limited, maybe I could have broken later and been more alongside, but it’s very easy to say that with hindsight, I think once I was in that position it was quite hard to go forward or go backwards and I was kind of stuck, I tried to do the best I could from that position.”
Asked whether the terminal damage was related to the steering, Piastri added: “Something like that, think I had a left front puncture, think the right front was broken as well, going up Eau Rouge with about 180 degrees of front lock and still going straight so something was clearly broken.”
The damage inflicted upon Piastri’s car witnessed the frightening sight of rival drivers trying to avoid the slowing McLaren heading towards the climb up Eau Rouge.
“It wasn’t fun, that’s for sure,” he said.
“I think I was quite lucky that everyone got around me before Eau Rouge then the way the steering was I kind of managed to get to the left side of the track before the bottom of Eau Rouge, so from that point it was Ok, but it’s not very fun going around a slightly curved straight when you couldn’t steer.”
Following a difficult opening stint, Norris managed to stretch out a set of Soft tyres 27 laps to the chequered flag to clinch seventh in the sole-running McLaren.