Oscar Piastri 1st at Suzuka: How strong is McLaren?  / System 1

Oscar Piastri 1st at Suzuka: How strong is McLaren? / System 1

Australia’s Oscar Piastri set the fastest time in difficult conditions in the second practice session for the Japanese Doctor. Are fifth-placed reigning World Cup winner and McLaren team-mate Lando Norris on course for a podium finish?

Oscar Piastri has had the first part of the season: eighth in Bahrain, fourth in Saudi Arabia, fourth at home in the GP in Melbourne, which currently means that the 22-year-old is fifth in the World Cup. In a skid, Piastri achieved the best time in the second training session in Japan.

Of course, not all drivers were on the Suzuka track in the second 60 minutes of training, and the conditions were so unpredictable that a good time cannot be given much importance. How well is McLaren doing in Japan?

Piastri, winner of the sprint race at Qatar 2023, says: “We are not in a bad situation, but it is difficult to say where we stand after a day like this.”

“The first training session had to be interrupted because of Logan Sargeant’s accident, and that caused a little disruption to our program.”

“We have a fast car, here too, and we are excited to see if we can repeat the good results of the team from Australia.” In Melbourne, Norris took third place and Piastri fourth.

Oscar continued: “In 2023 we had good results here (second Norris, third Piastri, MB), but since then some of the opponents have improved. I have enough hope that we can fight for a place on the podium.”

2. Studies, Japan

01. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, 1:34.725 min
02. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, 1:35,226
03. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, 1:38,760
04. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, 1:40,946
05. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, 1:41.913
06. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, 1:44.977
07. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:52.579
08. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), clean, no time
09. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), clean, no time
10. Alex Albon (T), Williams, no time
11. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, no time
12. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, no time
13. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, no time
14. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, no time
15. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, no time
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, no time
17. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Bull Red Racing, no time
18. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, No Time
19. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, no time
20. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, no time

1. Studies, Japan

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:30,056 minutes
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, 1:30.237
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:30.269
04. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, 1:30,530
05. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, 1:30,543
06. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, 1:30,558
07. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, 1:30.599
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, 1:31.165
09. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, 1:31,230
10. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, 1:31.240
11. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, 1:31,935
12. Alex Albon (T), Williams, 1:31,943
13. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1:31.958
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, 1:32.054
15. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, 1:32,055
16. Ayumu Iwasa (J), Racing Bull, 1:32,103
17. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, 1:32,277
18. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, 1:32,638
19. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, 1:32.803
20. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, 1:33,204