Oscar Piastri Should’ve Landed His First Formula 1 Podium At The British Grand Prix

But a career-high finish at Silverstone shows Piastri has the makings of a future Formula 1 champion...

Oscar Piastri Should’ve Landed His First Formula 1 Podium At The British Grand Prix

Image: Getty

Poor Oscar Piastri. While Max Verstappen may have just secured his sixth consecutive win of the 2023 Formula 1 season, a central point of discussion among fans and commentators is about the mixed fortunes of McLaren’s young Australian driver, who narrowly missed out on a podium spot at the 2023 British Grand Prix to his teammate Lando Norris and resurgent GOAT Lewis Hamilton.

It was certainly McLaren’s day on home soil; the two papaya cars placed second and fourth for the highest points tally of the season in front of a capacity Silverstone crowd.

More than 450,000 fans turned out to the British Grand Prix across the three-day weekend this year and Norris, in a new-look chrome McLaren MCL160, surged into an early lead from second ahead of Verstappen and was met with a cascading roar that erupted from the record-breaking crowd.

Piastri was well balanced in third, defending well from the hunting midfield while effectively keeping the pressure on Verstappen, who, for four laps, was in the mirrors of Norris’ McLaren out in first. Norris would hold onto his lead at home for four more laps, inevitably falling to the boundless speed and performance of Verstappen’s formidable Red Bull.

Max Verstappen wins the British Grand Prix for the first time. Image: Getty

But it was later on in the race that things decidedly took an unexpected turn. With Verstappen out in first, Norris and Piastri in the two McLarens were second and third respectively and with young Australian rookie Oscar Piastri on course for his first Formula 1 podium of his career – until a full safety car was deployed on Lap 34.

RELATED: Is Oscar Piastri Better Than Daniel Ricciardo? The 3 Things That Might Show Why

With the teams deciding to pit, Hamilton had the McLaren in his sights, switching to soft tyres with less than 18 laps still to race. Norris’ requests for softs fell on deaf ears with McLaren opting to persist with hard tyres to defend a slim lead. Hamilton showed his experience and was able to ping out of the pits and leapfrog Piastri for the final leg of the race, ripping a first podium place from Piastri in Silverstone.

WATCH Lando Norris blames the safety car for Piastri’s P4 below.

Piastri shows he has the makings of a champion

It could’ve been a historic first Formula 1 podium for Oscar Piastri in his maiden F1 season, had it not been for extraneous circumstances and the killer instincts of seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton following the events of the safety car.

McLaren was on course to celebrate a rare double podium for the first time since Daniel Ricciardo claimed a famous victory in Monza, with Norris sealing second in 2021.

But finishing in a career-high fourth place is something to celebrate for Piastri. The McLaren rookie looked disciplined, focused and deserving in his F1 British Grand Prix debut, demonstrating why he was the most highly sought-after driver for this season, almost a year to the day since signing with McLaren.

WATCH McLaren fans serenade Oscar Piastri following his career-high fourth-place finish below.

It’s certainly a solid foundation for Piastri to build on as the team looks to improve the performance of this year’s car. Still, the result over the weekend shows how much progress has been made for the British F1 team. More specifically, the maturity displayed by Piastri after his successful drive: he looked like a driver taking it all in his stride.

“That’s an amazing drive and I’m gutted it’s P4. That was a podium-worthy drive. Very unlucky with the safety car.” McLaren’s team said over the radio. Piastri replied: “Good to be unhappy with fourth. Let’s go get ’em!”

The result sees McLaren double their overall points in the Constructors’ Championships, jumping up to fifth overall with twelve circuits left to race. And with improvements due to be made on McLaren’s MCL160 as we reach the latter stages of the calendar, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Piastri making further strides up the ladder with another career-high finish on the cards this season.