Norris ‘frustrated’ slow pit-stop ruined podium bid
Lando Norris admitted he was frustrated after a slow pit-stop cost him the chance to battle for a podium finish in the British Grand Prix.
With Max Verstappen out of the running following a first-lap collision with Lewis Hamilton that left him in the barriers, a big opportunity opened up at a scorching Silverstone.
Hamilton went on to win the race from Charles Leclerc, who was the surprise package in his Ferrari and the main beneficiary of Verstappen’s misfortune.
But it was Valtteri Bottas whom Norris was targeting and although he eventually finished over 17 seconds behind the third-placed Finn, the McLaren man had been ahead of the Mercedes until the pit-stops.
Norris’ tyre change, on lap 22 of 52, took six seconds due to a problem with the right rear and as a result, he was overcut by Bottas who stopped a lap later and was stationary for a much slicker 2.2 seconds.
Without that mishap, the 21-year-old Briton thought he could have made much more of a fight of it to try and add to his three podiums already this season.
“It happens in Formula 1 every now and then,” Norris told Sky F1. “The boys did a great job all season with the pit-stops so one bad one, you’ve got to give it.
“They’re going to feel bad, I feel bad, but we’ll do better next time.
“Of course I was frustrated because I knew I was in the fight with Bottas. Whether I would have finished third or not I’m not too sure, but I would have loved in front of the fans here to at least have battled for it.”
Norris pits from P3, but it's a slow stop – 6 seconds
He returns to the track in P6 behind Alonso #BritishGP 🇬🇧 #F1 pic.twitter.com/012AKEwGhK
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 18, 2021
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Nevertheless, by finishing fourth and with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo one place behind him, Norris knew McLaren had offset some of the boost Ferrari, their rivals for P3 in the Constructors’ World Championship, had gained with Leclerc’s second place.
“I can’t be not satisfied, fourth and fifth as a team is great,” added Norris, who said he had “no idea how I’m third in the Drivers’ Championship” after leapfrogging Sergio Perez.
“It’s still a good result for us and a bit of damage limitation.”
Ricciardo, meanwhile, enjoyed his best result since joining McLaren by finishing fifth.
“On paper, happy with my first top-five of the year,” said the Australian. “It took a while but better late than never. Overall, a good weekend.
“I definitely need to have the consistency now. I want to say I feel better but there’s certainly some time on the table I need to find and get comfortable with the car.
“If I can have a strong weekend [at the next race] in Hungary that would give me the confidence to think it’s an upward trajectory.”