Oscar Piastri almost stuns Max Verstappen after sensational Sprint Shootout lap as Formula One newbie confirms he is the real deal
Oscar Piastri has almost sprung an almighty shock on Max Verstappen after he put in a sensational Sprint Shootout lap in Spa.
The Australian young gun crossed the line just 0.011 seconds behind the two-time world champion as the drivers jostled for position ahead of the Sprint in Belgium.
It means he will start in P2 on the grid for the shortened race in yet another positive sign for the 22-year-old, who has impressed in his debut season with McLaren in 2023.
Piastri has finished the last two races – in Hungary and Britain – in fourth, leaving fans and pundits excited about the Melbournian’s future in the sport.
He will have to drive well on Sunday to emulate those performances. PIastri starts fifth on the grid but will have Verstappen breathing down his neck in P6.
The Dutchman was quickest in qualifying but copped a five-place grid penalty owing to a gearbox change.
Charles Leclerc starts the race on pole, while under-pressure Red Bull star Sergio Perez is also on the front row.
The Mexican, despite driving the fastest car on the grid, has failed to muster a serious challenge to Verstappen this year, resulting in questions about his future with the team.
More to follow.