Piastri took his second grand prix podium in F1 by ending 4.5s behind the Dutchman at Losail, with Norris crossing the road in third only one second behind his team-mate.
Resulting from considerations over potential tyre failures, stint lengths had been lowered to a most of 18 laps on a single set of tyres, successfully mandating three-stops within the 57-lap race.
McLaren was tipped to excel on the excessive downforce observe and its one-lap tempo certainly appeared real, as evidenced by Piastri profitable Saturday’s 19-lap dash from pole.
However in line with workforce boss Andrea Stella, the McLarens managed to stay nearer to Verstappen over a full grand prix distance as a result of Purple Bull wasn’t absolutely in a position to flex its muscle.
“I feel to start with the chief’s technique is slightly sub-optimal from a race time standpoint, as a result of it’s the most secure technique while you add within the margin,” Stella stated.
“It protects you from a late security automotive, so there’s a flattering ingredient in the truth that they had been on a method that loses time.
“Secondly, I’m not positive how a lot they had been pushing. I used to be definitely perceiving that possibly Max didn’t have a lot in hand like he had different occasions.”
Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, leaves his pit field after a cease
Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Whereas the curtailed stints could have additionally prevented Purple Bull from exploiting its superior tyre administration, Stella felt that McLaren additionally loved improved tyre degradation, even when the underlying causes should not absolutely clear but.
“This was a decently flat-out race, as a result of the length of the stint to start with was prescribed in its most length. Then, the medium and the onerous tyres had been really behaving in a smart manner, so that they had been permitting the drivers to push.
“I used to be anticipating at some stage of Friday, after we noticed how the tyres had been behaving, that this is able to have been a race of controlling the tyres. As an alternative, for us a minimum of it was a race of pushing and that is encouraging.
“We’ll see the following races whether or not it is because we now have improved the automotive, and it permits us to be extra mild on the tyres and due to this fact have higher degradation or whether or not it is merely the circumstances related to this occasion.”
Stella cautioned that McLaren’s type itself may additionally have been an outlier, whereas noting that Mercedes to be appeared on par.
“Mercedes weren’t far in any respect,” Stella acknowledged. “George was very sturdy by way of race tempo and it’s a pity for them that they misplaced on a regular basis firstly, and so they had that unlucky scenario. In any other case, they’d’ve been there with us, I feel.
“This observe is a really appropriate observe for our automotive, so I wouldn’t anticipate for the approaching races that that is essentially the pecking order.”