Aussie F1 star Oscar Piastri is ROBBED of podium finish in qualifying by F1 farce that saw his fastest lap time deleted

  • McLaren star was called for podium finish interview
  • Had to tell reported he had been stripped of time
  • Will star Qatar GP at P6 instead 

Aussie ace Oscar Piastri has found himself at the centre of a F1 farce that has marred qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix.

Piastri was among several drivers to lose their fastest laps for straying beyond the white lines defining the edge of the track in their final laps in qualifying.

But so slow were the stewards in actually deleting their times, Piastri — who had to that point set the third-quickest time — was giving the customary post-session top-three interview when he found out his time had been deleted and he had been demoted to sixth.

‘I didn’t know, but this is fun, isn’t it? Not knowing who the top-3 is?’ he said.

‘Obviously a shame… I just pushed a little bit hard on the last lap. A shame because the car looked quick.

Mercedes’ British driver George Russell, Red Bull Racing champion Max Verstappen and Piatri pose for podium photos, even though the Aussie was stripped of his best time

Media were not told about the time changes and Piastri had to tell them his best lap had been deleted

Media were not told about the time changes and Piastri had to tell them his best lap had been deleted

‘We obviously get another crack at it tomorrow in [the Sprint Shootout] and then the Sprint too, so we’ll see what we can do. It’s very tight and it’s so easy to make mistakes. The track’s very slippery too, so not making things easy for us. But we’ll try again obviously.

‘It’s a shame that we’re a bit further back now for the main race where the most points are, but there’s definitely points up for grabs tomorrow.’

Even after being told of the demotion, Piastri still posed for the customary top-three photo.

He was even interviewed and had to tell the reporter that he did not finish P3 at all.

‘I don’t think anyone’s updated you yet but I got my lap deleted so I’m not P3 anymore, I think I’m P6’ he said. 

Piastri’s McLaren teammate Lando Norris was another to have a time deleted. 

He’d set a time quick enough for second at the time, which promoted the Mercedes of George Russell to second and Piastri to third, before Piastri’s time was also deleted, which promoted Lewis Hamilton to third .

Norris will start 10th.

Back at the front, Max Verstappen underlined why he’s on the verge of a third consecutive title as he qualified on pole.

He can clinch the title in Sunday’s sprint race.