McLaren explain why Oscar Piastri retired from Bahrain Grand Prix in nightmare opening F1 race
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McLaren driver Oscar Piastri suffered a disappointing first F1 race as he retired from the Bahrain Grand Prix - and team boss Zak Brown has assessed why his race ended early.
The Australian was making his F1 debut for the Woking-based team, having replaced Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 season.
But both Piastri and team-mate Lando Norris were not hugely quick in qualifying, with Piastri being knocked out in Q1. Norris did make it into Q3, but was not in a position to battle with the top teams.
The difficulties did not end in the race, with Norris suffering from a pneumatic pressure problem that increased his pit stop times.
The Brit would run in last place towards the end of the Grand Prix as a result of the problem, although he did look reasonably competitive in the midfield before his first pit stop.
Piastri, meanwhile, reported issues over the radio in the early stages of the race, and was forced to retire on lap 15.
During the race, McLaren CEO Brown gave an initial assessment of why the second driver had to exit the Grand Prix.
McLaren on Piastri retirement
Speaking on Sky Sports F1 to commentators David Croft and Martin Brundle, Brown said: "It looks like he [Piastri] has some sort of electrical issue.
"He had a gearbox-related issue on track which I think was electronic-related. We changed steering wheels, but that doesn't seem to have done the trick.
Zak Brown explains why McLaren had to retire Oscar Piastri's car 👇 pic.twitter.com/DC18etl1np— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) March 5, 2023
"We'll have to diagnose what it is [after the race] but it appears to be electronic-related."
It is a disappointing start to the 2023 season for the team, who are looking to build on their fifth place finish in last season's Constructors' Championship.
But they walk away from Sakhir empty handed, and despite some positive signs from Norris' Q3 appearance and early race pace, the team may have some thinking to do ahead of the second Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia.