Oscar Piastri dudded by 'embarrassing' call as F1 world lashes Max Verstappen 'disgrace'

The Aussie driver finished second at the Austrian Grand Prix, but was cruelly denied the victory.

Oscar Piastri finished second in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, but the Aussie was ultimately cruelled by a penalty he described as "embarrassing" in qualifying the day before. Piastri ripped into stewards on Saturday after being relegated from third to seventh on the starting grid for running wide during qualifying.

The Aussie's McLaren car went wide at the exit of turn six, where the gravel trap was brought closer to the edge of the track. Piastri's car crossed the white line by the barest of margins, but he managed to keep his car out of the gravel.

Nevertheless, stewards deleted his time for the indiscretion and he was forced to start from seventh - rather than on the second row in third. The Aussie was left fuming over the call - and it ended up proving extremely costly.

Oscar Piastri and Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Oscar Piastri (L) finished second in the Austrian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen and Lando Norris collided (centre). Image: Getty/F1

Piastri went on to finish second behind George Russell of Mercedes, but most likely would have won the race if he'd started higher. It would have been the 23-year-old's first victory in F1, but he had to settle for second instead.

"There's a lot of what ifs and maybes," he said on Sunday after the race. "Obviously, starting from yesterday I know it's only my fourth podium in F1, so close to a win, it hurts. I think second half of the race we were coming on pretty strong, I am happy with another podium, when it's that close you can't help but hurt a bit."

Oscar Piastri, George Russell and Carlos Sainz.
Oscar Piastri, George Russell and Carlos Sainz on the podium after the Austrian Grand Prix. (Photo by Alessio Morgese/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He said the day before: "We do all this work for track limits, put gravel in in places, and I didn't even go off the track. We've spent so much effort trying to get rid of these problems, there is no reason this corner should be an issue for track limits, especially when you (stay out of) the gravel.

"Being the only one it's happened to I'm probably more vocal about it, but it's embarrassing that you see us pushing right to the limit of what we can do. If I'm once centimetre more, I'm in the gravel and my lap is completely ruined anyway."


Piastri's second-place finish came after high drama between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, who clashed wheels and were sent crashing out of contention. Triple world champion and standings leader Verstappen looked poised for an easy victory on his Red Bull team's home track after winning the sprint race and topping qualifying on Saturday.

But a slow second pit-stop allowed Norris to close behind him. On a third attempt to pass the Dutchman, their wheels touched, which caused a puncture for Norris. The British driver eventually had to retire while Verstappen limped home in fifth, despite being handed a 10-second penalty for causing the collision with Norris.

F1 fans and pundits were quick to condemn Verstappen, and Norris was left demanding an apology. Norris is friends with Verstappen but there will be tension heading to next weekend's British Grand Prix where the Silverstone crowd will be very much behind the McLaren driver.

"I'm just disappointed. I expected a bit more from Max," Norris told reporters. "Careless." When asked if he expected an apology, the 24-year-old added: "It is for him to say something."

Verstappen denied he'd "moved under braking" but added: "It was a shame what happened. He dive-bombed from behind and it is hard to defend. Our race was very bad, from strategy to pit-stops. Too slow really. There was no balance in the car. That was obviously intense. We will talk about it, but maybe not today."

with AAP