Charles Leclerc says that Lando Norris “might feel very, very guilty” after his decision not to pit in Russia lost him and his team the win.
After the British team won for the first time since 2012 at Monza courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo, Norris looked set to give them their second in a row at Sochi, leading for the majority of the race.
However, in the closing stages, it started to rain, and while most quickly pitted for intermediate tyres, he made the decision to try and make it to the finish line on slicks.
It proved to be the wrong one as he went off and was forced to pit soon afterwards, causing him to drop down the field to P7 while Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th victory in the sport.
Leclerc says the 21-year old may well be feeling some guilt for what happened, but is sure he’ll get to the top step of the podium sooner rather than later.
“Obviously I can imagine what he is feeling,” the Ferrari driver told reporters in Sochi as quoted by Autosport.com.
“Probably he’s part of the decision process in those type of situations, and he might feel very, very guilty.
“But he is an amazing driver. I think he has shown it very often this season. He has had a very strong season, and I am sure he will learn from it.
“It’s just a matter of time before his first win, so yeah, I don’t think he should feel so down after the race he has done.”
Keep your head up mate. That W is coming. 👊
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) September 26, 2021
Norris isn’t the only driver to miss out on his first win in heartbreaking fashion in recent years, with Leclerc doing so on multiple occasions in 2019 and George Russell suffering the same fate in Bahrain last year.
Given that, the Williams man can relate to what his compatriot is going through, but like Leclerc, has no doubts that he’ll become a race-winner in the future.
“It’s every driver’s worst nightmare leading a race and the rain starts coming down, so I feel really bad for him,” said the Mercedes-bound driver.
“I’ve been there last year. I know how it feels. He’ll have plenty more victories to come.”
Heartbreak for McLaren at the Russian Grand Prix
McLaren could have achieved their second win of the season at the Russian Grand Prix.