Oscar Piastri says he regarded his São Paulo Grand Prix as a prolonged test session after being caught up in the opening lap melee.

Piastri was struck into the Senna S by Kevin Magnussen, who was spinning off following contact into the corner with Alex Albon.

The rear of his MCL60 sustained damage and amid the Safety Car period and subsequent race suspension Piastri went a lap down.

It meant he took the restarted race from the pit lane in last position and a lap behind every rival bar AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo.

“I hit the brakes for Turn 1, looked in the mirror, saw someone’s tyre flying through the air, thought that didn’t look very good, then had an impact after that,” said Piastri.

“It’s a shame, of course nothing I could have done, but when you qualify in those kinds of positions you leave yourself much more at risk to stuff like that.

“It all kind of starts from Friday unfortunately, after that tried to stay on the lead lap and learn as much as I could. [Repairing the car] was no easy feat, I’ve got an extra 70 laps I otherwise wouldn’t have had, I learned a lot, for when I come back next year.”

Piastri expanded that “after [Sprint] I had some clear things I wanted to try and improve on, I think I experimented a lot, some things successful, some not, but it’s very rare you get an opportunity like that to try things like that.

“Of course I would have preferred the opportunity didn’t come up in the first place but when it’s there you’ve got to try and capitalise on it with the lack of testing we have.”

The incident capped a relatively messy weekend in which Piastri was the slowest of the top 10 contenders in both qualifying sessions – having made a mistake in Q3 – and failed to score in the Sprint Race.

“This weekend the pace was very strong, on my side it was just I couldn’t finish a lap!

“I think there’s an element of maybe trying a bit hard in that aspect, and at a circuit where you don’t get much practice, and I’ve never been to, if I was slow and having these weekends I’d be more concerned but considering it’s executional things it leaves me in a more relaxed state – but definitely things to improve.”

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