Piastri gained “useful” wet weather driving tips by following Verstappen

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Oscar Piastri said he gained useful information by following race leader Max Verstappen when rain fell during the Monaco Grand Prix.

With this year’s pre-season testing consisting of just three days’ running in Bahrain, Piastri had little prior experience of driving an F1 car in wet conditions.

When rain fell over the final 25 laps in Monaco, drivers initially had to cope with the conditions on slick tyres, before switching to intermediates as the conditions worsened. The McLaren driver finished tenth.

“I don’t think there was any touches [with the walls] but some very, very close moments, especially when we were on the slicks,” Piastri told media including RaceFans after the race.

“One time I keyed up on the radio to talk and almost put it in the wall like mid-sentence. I won’t do that next time. A few close calls.”

Piastri was lapped by Max Verstappen which gave him the opportunity to observe how the world champion handled the challenging conditions.

“Having Max right in front of me was actually quite useful in some ways because that was my first time on slicks on a rainy track in an F1 car,” said Piastri.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“Having Max there, I obviously knew that if it was going to be anyone that’s probably going to be okay, it’s probably going to be him. So that was quite useful in some ways.”

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Monaco, 2023
Poll: Vote for your 2023 Monaco Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend
Verstappen won the grand prix but had multiple brushes with the wall on the way. Piastri nonetheless found his example useful to follow.

“When it was raining on the slicks, understandably he was I think being very cautious, so I could keep with him quite well there. And even when we came out on inters, I could keep with him quite well.

“Once the track dried up and he got a bit more comfortable, then he was a fair bit quicker. But initially I was managing to keep behind him, which is the first time I’ve been able to say that, so it was nice.”

Verstappen said he purposefully drove well within himself when the rain started to fall. “It was just that I had a big lead and I didn’t want to risk trying to be the same pace or faster and then end up in the wall,” he explained. “You have to be a little bit more careful. It’s just not taking too much risk but at the same time, of course not driving too slowly.”

Both McLaren drivers appeared behind Verstappen during the latter stages of the race. “I had Lando [Norris] in my gearbox as well so at one point,” Verstappen continued. “I was like, well, I do need to speed up a bit.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“It’s not a comfortable situation to be in when it’s like that to run here in the wet. But luckily after five laps I changed a few things on the steering wheel as well to just give me a bit of a better balance and that definitely helped as well.”

The Red Bull driver said it was important not to slow down too much out of caution as that made it harder to avoid mistakes.

“When you’re on a rhythm it’s better to just stay in that. I think just one time out of 16 I clipped the barrier. I thought I had a bit more margin and then I just I touched those [and thought] okay, I didn’t have the margin. But it was fine.

“It’s better to be in a rhythm and feel good than slowing down and then be a bit out of your zone, and then also your tyres get colder. It’s not what you like, they were already quite cold. So what is better I think is to stay in that because I was not over-driving it or whatever, it was just in my own zone.”

Bringing the F1 news from the source

RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.

By contributing £1 per month or £12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.

We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

    Browse all 2023 Monaco Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Ida Wood
    Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...
    Claire Cottingham
    Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    4 comments on “Piastri gained “useful” wet weather driving tips by following Verstappen”

    1. Talk about learning on the job in worst conditions.

      Rain, Monaco, Slicks, right behind current best rain driver.


      1. Then again current best rain driver is open to interpretation: people were talking up hamilton because he gave 1,2 seconds or something to verstappen in monza 2017 quali, which is probably the last competitive session where full wets were used full time (I think spa 2021 quali had inters early on, not 100%), despite the car still being an advantage even in the wet, so even here I have a hard time saying a driver is better on the wet when he has a dominant car, I’d like to see them with the same car in wet conditions.

        1. This. People think if there’s rain, all cars are equal. BS.

          My Kia doesn’t turn into a Ferrari in heavy rain on the highway, and yes the Ferrari was casually going at 140 km/h while mine was nervy at 100.

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      30th May 2023, 19:17

      Once did the same thing in a go-kart, following a guy who’d competed in some national events. Managed about eight corners of education, then crashed into a tyre wall because he could drive that quickly and I couldn’t.

      Know your limits… one of the many reasons Oscar is an F1 driver and I’m not.

    Comments are closed.