Piastri couldn’t fight ‘on a mission’ Mercedes in Canadian GP

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McLaren’s Oscar Piastri held his ground against Mercedes’ drivers in the closing stages of the Canadian Grand Prix, but there was little he could do to resist the attacks from the silver arrows chargers in the final laps of the race.

Last weekend’s race in Montreal saw a resurgent Mercedes challenge at the front of the pack. After a subdued start to its 2024 campaign, productive upgrades implemented on its W15 contender saw the Brackley squad raise its game in Canada.

The team’s newfound speed enabled George Russell to claim his second career pole in F1 on Saturday and lead the field for the better part of 20 laps on Sunday.

However, the event’s successive safety car periods and wet-to-dry conditions had carried Piastri into the top three during his final stint.

But the dry track coupled with their car’s fresher tyres saw Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton come into their own and ruin the McLaren driver’s podium ambitions.

“It would have been, I think, incredibly tough to keep them behind all the way to the end, especially being the first car in the firing line for them,” commented Piastri after concluding his afternoon fifth.

“I tried my best to stay in front, but I think just on the new tyres they were clearly a lot quicker than everybody.”


Piastri suggested that Mercedes’ performance in free practice foretold a potential strong showing in race trim. But the 23-year-old was still somewhat surprised by the level of the W15’s pace in Sunday’s dry conditions.

“I think the fact that they were fast wasn't a massive surprise. I think that they were so fast was,” he said.

“In FP3, I think with Lewis's [session topping] lap, we were scratching our heads. I think we worked out why after the session, but during the session, we were never going to get close to that.

“Even in Q2, when George did an 11.7 and I did a 12.1 or 12.2, I wasn't going to find half a second. So, I think they've been very quick this weekend.

“I think they've switched on the tyres well. And I think you kind of saw on the inters that, that hurt them a little bit at certain points.

“So, yeah, it was maybe just a stronger weekend for them. But it wasn't totally unexpected. I think Monaco, they looked very strong at certain points. And yeah, I think this weekend, they've been very strong.”

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