Lando Norris debunks Safety Car theory and blames McLaren’s ‘wrong call’

Sam Cooper
Lando Norris on the podium

Lando Norris believes he should have won in Montreal

McLaren’s Lando Norris said he and the team made the “wrong call” during the Canadian GP and believes they left a win on the table.

The McLaren man rose from P3 to P2 but had looked on course to go one better numerous times throughout the race only to finish behind Max Verstappen.

Lando Norris rues McLaren’s missed opportunity

What first looked like him not enjoying the rub of the green as he did in Miami, Norris revealed that he did have time to pit before catching the safety car but the team ultimately decided against it.

The result was his eight-second advantage over Verstappen disappearing and when Norris rejoined the action, he was in third.

But Norris regained the lead until he opted to stay out for a couple more laps as the drivers swapped onto the slicks and that too cost him the top spot with Verstappen able to move past the McLaren after the pit exit.

Norris, who has finished on the podium five times in the last seven races, believes he should have won in Montreal.

“We should have won the race today and we didn’t, so it’s frustrating,” he said. “We had the pace but not in the dry at the end. It didn’t really matter too much.

“We should have won today, it’s as simple as that. We didn’t do a good job [or] a good enough job as a team to box when we should have done and not get stuck behind the safety car so I don’t think it was a lucky or unlucky, I don’t think it was the same as Miami.

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“This was just us making a wrong call by me and by the team and it’s something we’ll discuss after but we should have won today.”

But despite his frustrations, Norris did at least have optimism that they were no longer satisfied to just finish second and that winning should always be the objective.

“I think we’re at a level now where we’re not satisfied with a second, the target is to win,” he said. “And we didn’t do that so that’s frustrating, but a tough race and still to end up in second when it could be worse is still a good result.

“Staying out on the intermediate helped me, it gave me a chance against George. But I didn’t do a good enough job afterwards and he was clearly way quicker than us in the dry and even on the hard tyres.

“So that was completely the right call and a good decision for us to stay out. It gave me a lot of lap time but it wasn’t the timing of a safety car. I had enough time to box and we didn’t box. So this was a mistake on us as a team and just something we didn’t do a good enough job with.”

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