Oscar Piastri missed the points by less than three seconds in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday – and the Aussie has three doses of bad luck.
The McLaren rookie was tagged by Williams driver Alex Albon on lap one and, on lap nine, was cruelly pitted by a pit stop that lasted three seconds.
In another moment of misfortune, Piastri’s only pit stop of the race came just before a safety car was deployed, with the 22-year-old boxer boxing only a few laps before yellow flags were waved because of AlphaTauri’s Nyck De Vries hitting a wall. .
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Piastri fell from 11th to 16th in boxing, before a flurry of pit stops followed the safety car.
Red Bull secured a double as Sergio Perez took the win and Max Verstappen second.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc completed the podium while Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll, George Russell, Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda scored points.
Piastri finished 11th in the street race at Baku City Circuit.
“I don’t feel too bad. I think the adrenaline is doing a really good job,” Piastri told Formula 1 TV.
“Too bad to be at one point of the points.
“I think I still learned a lot about time management in this race, so it’s definitely not a waste.
“Happy to get to the end of the weekend, to be completely honest.
“Still a lot of things we can learn and a lot of things we can watch after the weekend.”
Not only was the midfield affected by the safety car, but the battle for victory.
Shortly after Verstappen pitted as he was leading on lap 11, Perez jumped at the chance to box as the drivers had to slow behind the safety car.
This meant Perez found himself in the lead on a new set of tires as Verstappen was third.
As the two-time world champion found a way past Leclerc to move into second, Perez beat his teammate to the checkered flag by just over two seconds.
The Mexican doubled in Baku adding to the sprint race victory he had won the day before.
“Well done guys. We dominated this weekend,” Perez told his team on the radio.
“We are in the fight, guys.”
Naturally, Verstappen was discouraged.
“It is what it is,” the Dutchman told Sky Sports, before calling the safety car timing “unlucky”.
Perez, who sits second in the standings, narrowed the gap between himself and the leading Verstappen to six points.
Aston Martin veteran Fernando Alonso remains third with 60 points.
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