Norris will have ‘behind the scenes’ strategy talks

Sam Cooper
Lando Norris speaking to the media. Monaco, May 2022.

Lando Norris said he and his McLaren team will have strategy talks after appearing to disagree during the Monaco Grand Prix.

With the Red Bulls and Ferraris racing away in the distance and Fernando Alonso slowing the pack up behind, Norris found himself in a head-to-head battle with Mercedes’ George Russell.

Having qualified ahead of Russell, Norris would go on to finish the race behind him after McLaren failed to make the most of their strategy choices.

They were undercut for the second pit stop when Russell stopped a lap earlier for Norris to switch to the hards from the inters then when the red flag came out for Mick Schumacher’s crash, Norris stayed on the hard while many others used the opportunity for a free pit stop to switch to the mediums.

Norris was heard becoming increasingly frustrated over the team radio and after being told not to push too hard in case it rained later in the race, the McLaren driver pointed to the fact that if Alonso was slowing everyone up then there was no danger from behind.

“I’m obviously under no threat from behind, right? So surely I can just push now and try and make him make a mistake ahead? If you don’t want me to push what the hell am I meant to do, just sit here?” Norris said over the team radio.

Later in the race, he then asked to pit for medium tyres and was one lap away from overtaking Russell on his way to the fastest lap extra point.

After the race, the Brit conceded that there would be talks back at the McLaren Technology Centre about what they could have done better.

“There’s things we’ll talk about, about the strategy, I don’t think we did a perfect job,” he said, as reported by motorsport.com.

“And of course, there’s always things to work on and improve on. Something for us to talk about back behind the scenes, and back in MTC, and not something to talk about now. But yeah, things to definitely improve on from that side.”

“There’s a lot of things to think about in Monaco in these conditions, it’s just never an easy thing. And we’re in a good position, and we have good points, we don’t want to risk too much. And it’s easy to go that way.

“So they did everything for good reasons and said everything for good reasons, it’s just I guess my feeling inside the car is not easy to get across to the team, that I think we can have much better pace if we box, and things like that.

“And it’s hard to describe that and say that in the easy ways. But they normally do a very good job. So I’m not complaining, it’s just we’ve got a bit of work to do.”

Norris also admitted that the McLaren car may be lacking in race pace when it comes to tyre preservation.

“It was a good race,” he said. “Although we lost one position to the Merc that happens sometimes in these conditions. You can take your risk of going one lap earlier. But it is a risk, sometimes you’ll lose from it, sometimes you gain, and today they gained.

“So, fair play to them, George did a good job as well. But we sort of made the most of it otherwise, with the fastest lap and the pace at the end.

“I think we may be lacking a little bit of race pace in the tyre preservation and things, I don’t think we’re in the best position with all of this. But apart from that a good race, good points, which I’m happy with.”

 

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