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Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant Narrowly Escaped Dubai Floods to Make it to Chinese GP: “We Were Very Lucky”

Aishwary Gaonkar

Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant Narrowly Escaped Dubai Floods to Make It to Chinese GP: "We Were Very Lucky"

F1 drivers knew that coming to the Chinese GP was going to be a novel experience into unknown territory. Having not been to China for a race in over five years, they were concerned about what to expect and how chaotic it could be. Apparently, Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant experienced the chaos even before they got to China. On their journey, the duo had a layover in Dubai and they could not have hoped for a worse possible time to halt in the Emirati city. Dubai has experienced heavy downpour and the entire city, including the airport, is flooded. Fortunately, Piastri and Sargeant were “lucky” enough to escape the floods and rains of Dubai.

Speaking on the Team Torque podcast by Williams, Piastri and Sargeant narrated their experience of the Dubai weather. The Aussie said, “Speaking of Dubai, we were very lucky”. On this, the Williams driver also commented how the rain was “hammering down” in Dubai.

Sargeant then mentioned that they had to wait for two hours for a gap in the weather, probably for their next connecting flight to Shanghai. Given how much the rain has flooded the airport premises as well, Piastri and Sargeant would have felt fortunate to have escaped from Dubai in time.

Had they not got a flight out of there, both drivers most likely would have missed the Chinese GP weekend. Now, that both drivers are there in Shanghai, it seems that the rain has followed the duo there as well.

Rain helps Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris float well at the Chinese GP

Before the Chinese GP, McLaren were underplaying themselves to quite an extent. Both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri commented that they are keeping low expectations from the Chinese GP weekend. They reasoned that the Shanghai International Circuit has several slow corners, which is not a track characteristic that favors the MCL38.

However, barring those hard braking zones that compel drivers to take those corners at a slower pace, the rest of the track is rather quick. There are a couple of long straights and a few medium and high-speed corners as well. Thus, the McLaren drivers were probably overestimating their struggles and that is what the sprint qualifying showcased.

Both Norris and Piastri were in the mix for the top five spots. In fact, as the rain came down in the last few minutes of Q2, it further boosted the Woking team’s prospects. In 2023 as well, McLaren performed well in wet track conditions on several occasions, and that is what transpired in Shanghai.

Norris blew the field over with his pace on the intermediate tires in Q3. The Briton got two of his laps deleted due to track limits.

However, as many drivers, including Max Verstappen, were going off track with intensifying rain, it leveled the field for Norris. Eventually, despite his third lap time getting deleted briefly, Norris got the sprint pole as the FIA reinstated his lap because he had not gained any advantage by going off the track.

Meanwhile, Piastri did not make the most of a wet Q3, qualifying only in P8. However, he would be happy to see that there is potential for the MCL38 to achieve a decent result in China.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Aishwary Gaonkar

Aishwary Gaonkar


Aishwary Gaonkar is the F1 Editor at The SportsRush. Having written over 757 articles about different aspects of the sport, Aishwary passionately likes to dive deep into the intricacies of the on-track events. He has been an avid F1 fan since the 2011 season, amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Besides the 4-time champion, he also likes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Among the current drivers, he thinks Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri have championship-winning caliber. Longing for a Ferrari world championship, Aishwary is also a fan of Aston Martin's underdog story and their bid to win the F1 championship. Other than F1, he follows tennis and cricket too.

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