Piastri Sheds Light on Ferrari and Aston Martin’s Improvement Areas

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri has pinpointed a specific area of performance where he believes his team has fallen behind its competitors, stating that McLaren is no longer an “outlier” in this regard.

Piastri has noted a decline in McLaren’s advantage over its rivals, particularly Ferrari and Aston Martin. Despite a strong start to the season compared to the previous year, McLaren has slipped behind Ferrari in terms of performance.

Last year, McLaren finished as the second-fastest team, trailing only Red Bull. Despite accumulating 69 points in the first four rounds of the season, McLaren now finds itself trailing the Italian team by 51 points.

While McLaren maintains a comfortable lead over Mercedes and Aston Martin in the constructors’ standings, with more points than both teams combined, Piastri has identified a crucial area where McLaren’s advantage has diminished compared to last year – high-speed corners.

Piastri explained to the media at the Japanese Grand Prix, “What’s become clear in the last few races is that they’re [high-speed circuits] not an outlier in being good just for us anymore.

“So, let’s say maybe the advantage we enjoyed at some of the high-speed circuits last year, I don’t think we enjoy as much as anymore.”

McLaren’s standout moment of the year thus far has been Lando Norris’ podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix, which happens to be Piastri’s home race.

Despite this achievement, consecutive fourth-place finishes in Jeddah and Melbourne have enabled the 23-year-old to remain within five points of his more seasoned teammate.

Last season, McLaren demonstrated dominance at Suzuka, clinching a double-podium finish. However, this year, Norris and Piastri could only manage fifth and eighth places respectively, underscoring the progress made by their competitors.

Piastri noted, “I think Ferrari have certainly made steps forward in their high-speed performance. Red Bull, obviously, are still strong. Aston Martin have made step forward in the high-speed performance.”

As Formula 1 heads to China for the upcoming round, Piastri faces the challenge of racing at a new circuit.

The Shanghai International Circuit will host its first race in the modern ground-effects era, introducing added uncertainty, particularly with the sprint weekend format expected to level the playing field among teams.