Piastri and Ricciardo miss out on points in Miami

Monday 06 May, 2024
Photos: McLaren, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team, Manuela Nicoletti Photo,
The 2024 Miami Grand Prix has proved a challenging outing for FIA Formula 1 World Championship Australians Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo after neither driver was able to finish in the top 10.
In what was a memorable race that saw Lando Norris win his first ever Grand Prix, beating Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc across the line, Piastri ended up finishing the 57-lap race in P13, two places ahead of Ricciardo.
Out of the two, Piastri was the more likely to score points and had an impressive race overall, having started in P6 and worked his way to third on the opening lap.
Piastri’s stellar start continued on lap five when a brilliant move on Leclerc helped him slot into second place before eventually inheriting the lead from Verstappen after the Dutchman pitted.

Leading the race for a few laps, Piastri then made a pit stop himself – one lap before the safety car was deployed due to a Logan Sargent crash – eventually coming out in fourth place.
The ill-timed stop turned out to be just the start of Piastri’s bad luck after the second-year McLaren driver was the victim of Carlos Sainz’ aggressive driving. The duo was locked in an entertaining scrap across multiple laps with Piastri defending extremely well, only for the Spaniard to make contact during an attempt to pass on lap 39, leaving Piastri with a damaged front wing.
The 23-year-old then came out of the pits in last place but charged his way through the back of the field, which included a battle with Ricciardo, before eventually passing him and making it to 13th.
Earlier in the weekend, it was Ricciardo who enjoyed the better result of the two as the West Australian finished the sprint race in fourth place.

A brilliant qualifying from the Visa Cash App RB driver saw him secure a second-row start, which he held magnificently during the 19-lap race, defending well against Sainz and Piastri throughout.
The fourth-place finish saw Ricciardo notch up his first points for the year, while Piastri’s sixth place in the race earned him three points for the weekend.
The FIA Formula 1 World Championship continues later this month with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola Circuit on 17-19 May.
There were plenty of other Aussies racing around the world over the weekend, including a handful of Aussies who were in Italy already, three of which began their Italian F4 Championship season.
Enjoying the best return of the three was Gianmarco Pradel, who ended the round at Misano with a podium in the opener and a P6 in the third race to finish the weekend fifth on the overall standings.

Jack Beeton also had a strong start to the season with a top five finish in the opening round, before a DNF and P17 undid his good work, while Kamal Mrad was unable to break into the top 20 in any of the three races.
Also at Misano was Queenslander Bayley Hall, who made his Porsche Carrera Cup Italy debut with Be Racing. While Hall wasn’t able to score a podium, a P13 and P11 in the two races – the latter seeing him climb four places – proved a fairly successful weekend out.

Racing at the famous Misano circuit later this month will be Calan Williams, who began his 2024 campaign with the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup season opener in Brands Hatch.
Racing in one of three Team WRT BMW M4 GT3s, Williams and his British teammate Sam De Haan had an extremely solid weekend out in the Silver Cup - finishing both races on the class podium.
While the first of the two outings proved to be the better result for the duo, with a Silver Cup second place and seventh outright following a class pole position in Qualifying, it was their second race that was arguably more impressive, as they started fifth in class but made-up multiple positions to finish third.

Across the English Channel were another trio of Aussies for the European Le Mans Series' 4 Hours of Le Castellet, and it was James Allen who finished with the best result.
Behind the wheel of the Duqueine Team Oreca 07, Allen and his teammates, Niels Koolen and Jean-Baptiste Simmenaue, finished the four-hour race in sixth place after starting in P8.
Entered in the LMP2 Pro-Am class, Andres Latorre Canon started and finished the race in eighth place and 20th overall alongside Cem Bölükbaşı of Turkey and German Laurents Hörr.

Like Latorre Canon and his DKR Engineering teammates, Aussie Marty Berry finished where he started as he and Brits Jonathan Adam and Lorcan Hanafin, guided their Aston Martin Vantage to seventh in the LMGT3 class.
Also running at Circuit Paul Ricard were Fraser Ross and George Nakas in the Le Mans Cup – the duo finishing the two-hour race in P24.

In the United States, Repco Supercars Champoinship star Cam Waters had a dramatic second outing in his #66 ThorSport Ford over the weekend, finishing the NASCAR Truck Series round at Kansas Speedway in P19.

The Victorian was in the the thick of the action for much of the event, placing 22nd in practice, qualifying in P20 and dropping down to 28th midway through the race before eventually recovering up the field to finish 19th.

Rounding out the Aussies competing abroad was Tom Sargent, who was in action for the GT World Challenge America, which held its second round of the season at the iconic Sebring.
Contesting the Pro-Am class with Kyle Washington in the GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, Sargent missed out on class podiums both times after finishing fourth in each race.

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