Oscar Piastri discovered he’d been demoted from third to sixth on the grid for Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix whilst mid-interview in parc ferme, in what was an awkward moment for the rookie.
Several drivers had lap times deleted during qualifying Friday evening at the Lusail International Circuit, with the strong gusts of wind having played havoc.
Piastri’s final lap in Q3 had provisionally put him in fourth; however, he was promoted to third initially after Lando Norris had his lap deleted for exceeding track limits.
As a result, the Aussie went to parc ferme for his post-qualifying interview, which was conducted by Sky Sports F1 pundit Naomi Schiff.
However, it wasn’t until mid-interview that it was revealed that Piastri’s final Q3 lap had also been deleted, something Schiff had to inform Piastri about.
“So I think we’re just hearing that you’ve had a track limits infringement,” Schiff said, whilst mid-interview with Piastri.
“Is that accurate? Did you know that maybe something was under investigation for your track limits as well?” Schiff asked.
“I didn’t know. This is fun isn’t it, not knowing who is in the top three,” Piastri replied.
Schiff responded: “Oh gosh. It sounds as if you may have dropped down to sixth now.”
It’s actually Lewis Hamilton who’ll start from third on Sunday, even though his best lap was only good enough for fifth.
Norris astonishingly had both of his Q3 laps deleted for exceeding track limits, leaving him to start from P10 rather than second, alongside reigning World Champion Max Verstappen.
Piastri at least managed to get a banker lap in at the start of Q3, meaning he wasn’t demoted too many places, especially compared to his team-mate.
The rookie ultimately admitted that he “pushed a little bit hard” on his final hot lap in Q3, with him having been caught out by the “very slippery” new track surface.
“I just pushed a little bit hard on the last lap. A shame because the car was quick,” Piastri told Sky Sports.
“We get another crack at it tomorrow with qualifying and in the Sprint too. We will see what we can do.
“It’s very tight, it’s so easy to make a mistake because the track is very slippery. Not making things easy for us.”