Former Formula One world champion Damon Hill recently shared insights into the bittersweet emotions experienced by young talent Oscar Piastri, who secured a remarkable third-place finish at the iconic Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka. Despite achieving his maiden Formula 1 podium, Piastri couldn’t conceal his disappointment for falling short of surpassing his teammate, Lando Norris, who claimed the second spot on the podium.
Thanks to the remarkable performance of the upgraded McLaren MCL60, Oscar Piastri found himself leading the charge at Suzuka. He stood out as the lone contender, aside from teammate Lando Norris, who managed to challenge the seemingly invincible RB19 driven by Max Verstappen. Suzuka will undoubtedly be etched in Piastri’s memory as one of the most memorable races in his budding Formula 1 career, marked by his impressive second-place start on the grid and ultimately securing the third position.
However, Damon Hill, a seasoned Formula One veteran, suggests that the 22-year-old Australian driver harbors a tinge of regret for not managing to outpace Norris and claim the coveted second position. Speaking candidly on the F1 Nation podcast, Hill was effusive in his praise for Piastri’s outstanding performance at Suzuka.
“He’s only been on the simulator, but he was putting his outside wheel on the edge of the track to perfection using every inch, right early on, on Friday. And I was super impressed with that.
And I think that it shows he’s got the real stuff, the right stuff and the natural talent that you need to succeed in Formula 1 and he’s determined.
He was also disappointed with his third place. Even though it was his first ever Formula 1 podium because he felt, I think I’m sure he felt, he wanted to consolidate his qualifying performance with a second [place finish].”
“The Australian driver openly acknowledged that he still has considerable room for improvement, especially in terms of pace compared to his teammate, Lando Norris. Reflecting on what allowed Norris to overtake him despite Oscar’s advantageous starting position from second on the grid, Piastri provided insights during an interview with Sky Sports F1.”
“I got a really good launch and then, in all honesty, I got a bit excited with the throttle pedal and the second phase I just had far too much wheel spin and that’s where I kind of lost that ground to Max again and Lando clearly had the best start of the three of us by a fair bit.
Tried my best and then it was pretty tight anyway, I wasn’t far enough alongside and realistically even if I got in front of Max it wouldn’t have been for long. I’m just happy I managed to settle into third and in the end that was all the pace we had for the day.”