While Lando Norris was being taken to a local hospital following his encounter with the Las Vegas barriers, teammate Oscar Piastri was upholding McLaren honour in style.
The Briton crashed out on the second lap after losing control of his car on one of the track’s numerous bumps.
Clearly winded by the crash, after being checked at the on-track F1 medical centre, Norris was taken to the University Medical Center for further checks before being discharged.
“There’s a bump in that place,” explained team boss Andrea Stella, “you can see all cars spark when they go through.
“I think the combination of the bump and the cold tyres might have surprised him,” he added. “I think that bump, if we carry on racing at night-time, should be fixed, because the tyres will always be cold, low grip and it becomes a very tricky corner.
“Already during the weekend, we saw cases of oversteer in that place. So independently of the timetable, we would strongly recommend that this bump is smoothed out.
“It’s the same bump for everyone,” he admitted, “it just depends on your speed, the condition of your tyres, potentially how your car is positioned there, how close you are to the car ahead. There are multiple factors. Maybe Lando made a kind of assumption that there was enough grip.
“But it’s very tricky, I’m sure all drivers will comment that. That’s something that needs to be fixed.”
McLaren’s misfortune continued when on Lap 17 Oscar Piastri made contact with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes necessitating an unscheduled extra stop during what would have been the Australian’s opening stint.
Rejoining the race in 16th, and still on hards, Piastri was up as high as 3rd following the round of pits stops the occurred in the wake of the Russell/Verstappen clash that brought out the Safety Car for the second time.
Unfortunately he was still required to make a second stop in order to comply with the rules by using a second compound. As a result, after pitting from fifth on Lap 43 he rejoined in 11th, however he was able to pass Pierre Gasly for the final point just three laps from the end, claiming an extra point for fastest lap.
“The pace in the car was a good surprise,” said the Australian at race end. “I think yesterday obviously wasn’t particularly representative of our pace,” he added, “but today was probably better than we expected. So we need to understand what the difference was.
“A lot of teams seemed to be incredibly different from yesterday,” he continued. “Williams we thought would be quite quick today and weren’t. So a few things to look at but it almost feels like we deserved a bit more than P10.
“The timing of the Safety Car was pretty much perfect for the guys that stayed out on mediums at the start,” he added. “You look at Ocon, it worked perfectly for him.
“I was really wishing the rule of using two compounds didn’t exist, because I would’ve just gone to the end of the hards. I think we had the pace to hang onto P4. So that was a shame. But the pace of the car was a really good surprise.”
Asked about the clash with Hamilton in which both suffered punctures, he said: “It was kind of an awkward one. Neither of us had really committed to the corner that much, and then we both committed at the last minute.
“I was trying to back out of it, but we just ended up meeting in the middle, so I had a puncture from that.
“I don’t think it really hurt our race that much, in all honesty. It would have been interesting to see if a one-stop could have worked from that point. But yeah, it’s always hard to know. We would have been a sitting duck, like Gasly. A lot of things for a lot of people went wrong in that race and I think I was in the same boat.
“It’s been a difficult weekend, I think, for everyone involved,” he concluded. “Definitely in terms of performance and pace, I was much, much happier with how the race went today.
“Of course, in terms of results, it’s not what we’d hoped for. But I think given how we looked yesterday, coming away with two points is not the end of the world. And I think the biggest positive was the pace in the car.”
“That was disappointing, just a massive shame, because Oscar was absolutely brilliant,” said Stella. “It was a bit of a surprise as to how quick we were, so it’s a shame that because we had started the race on hard tyres, then we needed to pit before the due time because of the contact with Hamilton.
“With the safety car placed wherever it was placed, it was always going to be a bit of an unfavourable race for somebody that started on the hard.”
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