Piastri rues ‘shame’ after terrible luck in dramatic race

Oscar Piastri missed out on the points by less than three seconds at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday — and the Aussie is lamenting three doses of awful luck.

The McLaren rookie was tagged by Williams driver Alex Albon on lap one and, on lap nine, was cruelled by a pit stop that took three seconds.

In another moment of misfortune, Piastri’s only pit stop of the race came just before the deployment of a safety car, with the 22-year-old boxing only a couple of laps before yellow flags were waved because of AlphaTauri’s Nyck De Vries hitting a wall.

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Piastri dropped from 11th to 16th while boxing, before a flurry of pit stops followed behind the safety car.

Red Bull secured a one-two finish as Sergio Perez claimed victory and Max Verstappen second.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc rounded out the podium as Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll, George Russell, Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda chalked up points.

Piastri finished 11th in the street race at Baku City Circuit.

“I’m feeling not too bad. I think the adrenaline is doing a very good job,” Piastri told Formula 1 TV.

“Shame to be one spot away from the points.

“I think I still learned a lot about time management in this race, so definitely not a waste.

“Happy to get to the end of the weekend, to be completely honest.

“Still a lot we can learn and a lot we can look at after the weekend.”

Not only was the midfield affected by the safety car, but the battle for victory.

Shortly after Verstappen pitted while leading on lap 11, Perez pounced on the opportunity to box as the drivers had to slow down behind the safety car.

It meant Perez was left with the lead with a fresh set of tyres as Verstappen trailed in third.

While the two-time world champion found a way past Leclerc to move into second, Perez beat his teammate to the chequered flag by just over two seconds.

The Mexican doubled up at Baku by adding to the sprint race victory he enjoyed a day earlier.

“Well done guys. We dominated this weekend,” Perez told his team over radio.

“We are in the fight, guys.”

Understandably, Verstappen was dejected.

“It is what it is,” the Dutchman told Sky Sports, before describing the safety car timing as “unlucky”.

Perez, who’s placed second in the standings, reduced the deficit between he and the table-topping Verstappen to six points.

Aston Martin veteran Fernando Alonso remains in third on 60 points.

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