F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2023 live race updates, Oscar Piastri news

One of the biggest days of Oscar Piastri’s young career has arrived with the Australian starting the Japanese Grand Prix on the front row.

The McLaren driver will become just the fifth Australian to start a race on the front row and has emerged as a genuine threat to stop world champion Max Verstappen.

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McLaren has Verstappen in a papaya sandwich with Lando Norris finishing third in qualifying.

The race begins from 3pm (AEST).

1.45pm – Driver forced to start from pits

Logan Sargeant has been involved in late drama at the Japanese Grand Prix with Williams forced to start his car from pit lane.

Sargeant crashed heavily at the final turn during qualifying and his team has been forced to rebuild it from the ground up.

The late flurry of activity in the Williams garage has reportedly sparked a stewards investigation into a potential rule breach.

1pm – Red Bull boss’ Ricciardo comment raises eyebrows

Christian Horner has seemingly lit a fire under all four drivers wanting to be Max Verstappen’s future teammate.

Horner has made some intriguing comments about the Red Bull game of musical chairs — showing Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda and Kiwi Liam Lawson all have a chance to win the second Red Bull seat for the 2025 season.

“We’ve got a long-term contract with Max,” Horner said in Japan.

“Checo is out of contract at the end of 2024. He’s in the hot seat at the moment and will obviously be keen to extend. We’ll see how Daniel does, we’ll see how Yuki does and in the background we’ll see what Liam’s capable of in the test and reserve role.”

Ricciardo is hoping to get back behind the wheel next month after breaking his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix.

12pm – Piastri far from happy

Oscar Piastri says he was slightly disappointed not to have nailed a perfect lap in qualifying.

“Well done everybody, thank you,” he said on team radio.

“The first lap was pretty good. The second one, nailed the tricky stuff and f***ed up the less tricky stuff. So thank you, good starting spot for tomorrow. Let’s have some fun!”

It’s the first time Piastri has out-qualified Norris this season and the surest indication yet that the 22-year-old rookie is the real deal.

Piastri joins Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber, Alan Jones and Jack Brabham as the only Australian drivers to start an F1 Grand Prix from the front row of the grid.

He also becomes the first rookie driver to put his car on the front row since Nico Hulkenberg in Brazil in 2010.

As he continues to notch up milestones in his debut season, Piastri will be hoping to claim his maiden podium finish in Japan on Sunday afternoon.

It comes just days after McLaren announced Piastri had signed a new deal to stay at the team until the end of the 2026 season.

The multi-year extension is a huge endorsement in the youngster who is seen as a future world champion.

Japanese Grand Prix starting grid

Front row Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren)

2nd row Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)

3rd row Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull) Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari)

4th row Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) George Russell (GBR/Mercedes)

5th row Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri) Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin)

6th row Liam Lawson (NZL/AlphaTauri) Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine)

7th row Alexander Albon (THA/Williams) Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine)

8th row Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas) Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo)

9th row Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin) Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Haas)

10th row Guanyu Zhou (CHN/Alfa Romeo) Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams)

Read related topics:Daniel Ricciardo

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