Hometown Champion! Oscar Piastri scores his first Formula 1 points as the rookie Australian finishes eighth in Melbourne after surviving a chaotic race that has been stopped three times
Oscar Piastri took his first Formula 1 points at the end of Sunday’s chaotic Australian Grand Prix as only 11 cars completed the race.
The 21-year-old finished eighth as Max Verstappen carried the flag behind the safety car after the race was stopped with two laps to go to go third after a major crash at the first corner.
Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz collided, the former dropping to 11th while two Alpine finishers of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly took each other out and Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant also crashed.
However, as the lap did not go past sector one, the FIA decided to restart the race in order from before that third start, meaning Verstappen came out first, with Lewis Hamilton and Alonso on the podium.
By scoring his first home Formula 1 points, Piastri emulated his principal Mark Webber, who finished fifth with Minardi in a similarly accidental race finish at Albert Park in 2002 on his debut.
Oscar Piastri scored his first points in Formula 1 by finishing 8th in Melbourne
The young Australian started 16th on the grid but survived a chaotic race to score his first Formula 1 points after a rocky start to the season.
Piastri, who replaced Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after spending last season as Alpine’s reserve driver, arrived at Albert Park with slim hopes of securing the first points of his career in a faltering car.
The 21-year-old showed promise in practice, finishing 12th on Friday and setting the 14th fastest time on the lap on Saturday morning but crashing out in Q1.
But in a race marred by accidents, fires and pit stops, Piastri survived the carnage to take his first career points.
The Melbourneian was 11th when the Grand Prix restarted with two laps to go after a red flag was called following an incident with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.
But he was moved up inside the top 10 after a restart created more chaos in the field, with the third red flag in the 58-lap race.
The race was stopped again, with a break of around 30 minutes before it resumed under the safety car as defending champion Verstappen took his maiden Australian Grand Prix victory in truly bizarre conditions.
After retiring in Bahrain at the season opener with electrical problems, Piastri finished 15th in Saudi Arabia as McLaren struggled to turn out a competitive car.
The British manufacturer fared much better in Melbourne with team-mate Lando Norris crossing the line in sixth.