Oscar Piastri, the hometown hero, secured his first points in his inaugural Australian Grand Prix, finishing in eighth place amongst chaotic conditions at Albert Park. Reigning champion Max Verstappen took home the win, with the event suffering a record three red flags.
Starting from 16th position, Piastri managed to gain three places on the first lap, with one of those places left vacant by Charles Leclerc‘s Ferrari retirement. He also gained an additional spot after Alexander Albon crashed his Williams on lap nine, resulting in the first red flag of the grand prix.
During the second phase of the race, Piastri managed to climb his way to an unaccompanied 11th place, only to be halted by the second red flag waved four laps from the end. Further chaos at the restart saw Alpine pair Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly retire, which gifted Piastri a ninth position for the third and final restart. He would ultimately finish the race in eighth place after Ferrari‘s Carlos Sainz received a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Fernando Alonso‘s Aston Martin during the penultimate restart.
McLaren secures 12 points, their first double top-eight finish since last year’s Singapore Grand Prix, with teammate Lando Norris finishing sixth. Piastri is now equal with Mark Webber (2005) and Daniel Ricciardo (2012) in securing a points-scoring finish in their first Formula One outing in Melbourne.
Piastri emphasised that there is still room for improvement, stating that “we obviously know we’re quite slow on the straights at the moment, which is something we’re looking to address, but even with the fourth DRS zone it’s still difficult to overtake here. For me, some things I can work on [and] there’s still some learning to do on how to use the battery most effectively to overtake.” Nevertheless, Piastri is grateful for his first-ever F1 career points stating, “It’s obviously not been a great first two races for the whole team, for largely things out of our control. Some more things out of our control went right today [and] it was nice to be on the good end of things going wrong.”
Piastri’s Formula One career has officially started, and the young prodigy states that there is still work to be done, both by himself and the team, ahead of the next race in Azerbaijan.