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Piastri angered by grid drop, McLaren protest rejected

:McLaren's Oscar Piastri said his drop from third to seventh on the Austrian Grand Prix starting grid for exceeding track limits in qualifying on Saturday was "embarrassing" for Formula One.

Track limits violations, when drivers place all four wheels over the white line marking the edge of the track, made headlines at Spielberg last year due to the huge number of incidents - 1,200 in the race alone.

This year, gravel strips have been placed outside turns nine and 10 but Piastri fell foul of the stewards for apparently going too far at turn six.

"For me, it's embarrassing. We do all this work with track limits, put gravel in places and I didn't even go off the track, I stayed on the track," Piastri told Sky Sports television.

"It was probably my best Turn Six and it gets deleted.

"I don't know why they've spent hundreds of thousands or millions trying to change the last two corners when you still have corners you can go off...

"There's no reason this corner should be an issue for track limits, especially when you stay on the track like I did. Or not in the gravel.

"I think it's embarrassing that you see us pushing right to the limit of what we can do, and if I am one centimetre more I'm in the gravel and completely ruin my lap anyway."

McLaren protested against Piastri's drop but this was rejected.

"A decision of the Stewards is not open to protest," they said in a statement.

"Additionally, the protest does not meet several of the required criteria for the admissibility of a protest ... The Stewards therefore reject the protest as it is inadmissible."

Piastri's team mate Lando Norris qualified second and will start alongside Red Bull's triple world champion Max Verstappen, who won the Saturday sprint from pole with Piastri second.