Piastri shows his class in Singapore heat

Monday 18 September, 2023
Photo: McLaren F1
Oscar Piastri has once again impressed the racing world with a classy performance at the Singapore Grand Prix.  

The McLaren rookie worked his way through the field after starting from 17th on the grid to finish in seventh - with a great start off the line, great team strategy and some consistent, veteran-like lap times helping his rise through the field.  

While seventh was an impressive feat in itself, it was made all the more special considering his unfortunate qualifying session in his first visit to Marina Bay – which saw him stranded in Q1 after an untimely red flag cruelled his ambitions.

When it came to the race, a great start off the line then saw Piastri make up a couple of places in quick fashion, with a top 10 place on the cards in only a matter of laps.  

A swift pit stop during the one and only full safety car intervention of the race then promoted the young Aussie into seventh, where he would find himself defending against Liam Lawson and eventually Max Verstappen.  

While losing the position to the championship leader was inevitable, seventh place would once again be his after Mercedes’ George Russell found himself in the wall on the final lap of the race.  

The 10-place climb through the field ensured Piastri would be named as one of the drivers of the day - an incredible feat considering the difficulty of the circuit and the hot, humid conditions that came with it – and all on his first ever visit to one of the toughest races on the Formula 1 calendar.

Six championship points moved Piastri ahead of Esteban Ocon into 11th in the overall FIA Formula 1 Championship standings and only a handful of points away from breaking into the top 10.  

Another driver who continued their great run of form overseas was Matt Campbell in the WeatherTech IMSA Sportscar Championship.

Off the back of the team’s first race win of the season last month, Campbell, alongside Felipe Nasr, headed a Team Penske one-two in qualifying at the team's home circuit, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  

The duo finished ahead of teammates Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy by just over a tenth of a second, before the latter would get their revenge with a convincing victory in the race.  

A little further back in the field, Josh Burdon put in a brilliant stint to move from 35th on the grid all the way up to 16th, while another Aussie, Scott Andrews could only muster 44th after starting last.  

230918_campbellIMSAPhoto: Team Penske

Also in action in the United States was Tom Sargent, who suffered a somewhat difficult weekend in Porsche Carrera Cup North America.  

A sixth and a ninth place finish in the category’s two races did the young Aussie no favours, with his championship rival, Riley Dickinson taking both victories.  

While the results were some of his worst this season on paper, there were some good signs throughout with Sargent running in second place in Race 1 before being taken out.  

Sharing bad luck was Calan Williams in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe, where after an impressive qualifying performance was curtailed on the opening lap at no fault of his own.  

Despite showing great pace all weekend long, both incidents meant the team were unable to turn it into a result.  

The same could be said for Alex Peroni, who unfortunately had to settle for 50th outright after another difficult outing.  

Photo: Calan Williams Racing

While Williams and Peroni were unable to find success in Europe, it was a different story for Molly Taylor – who left Italy with silverware after a mixed outing in Extreme E.  

Taylor, alongside teammate Kevin Hansen, celebrated an impressive third place in a challenging qualifying heat two race that saw the Australian driving blind after her windscreen wipers failed to work in muddy conditions. Impressively, she still finished the race to secure the heat’s third place trophy.  

While they would celebrate with an impressive win in the redemption race, the pair suffered a number of mechanical issues over the course of the weekend that saw them ultimately end the round in sixth.

Taylor still remains in contention for the outright Championship, with the Veloce Racing Team sitting third outright on the standings.

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