McLaren’s Andrea Stella believes a change will need to be made to the Las Vegas track after Lando Norris crashed heavily in the Grand Prix.
The British driver became a passenger after losing control of the rear of his McLaren on Lap 4 of the Grand Prix, spinning off at Turn 11 and colliding with the barriers before skating down an escape area as a passenger.
Norris was unhurt but winded, and was brought to the Medical Centre before being brought to a nearby hospital for further precautionary checks. McLaren have since confirmed his release with a clean bill of health.
Lando Norris’ crash cause identified by McLaren
The bizarre crash had seen Norris just suddenly swap ends going through the left-hand corner, but team boss Andrea Stella has confirmed that it wasn’t a car failure that triggered the nasty accident.
“There’s a bump in that place,” Stella told media afterward.
“You can see all cars sparkle when they go through this bump. I think the combination of the bump and the cold tyres might have surprised him.”
Stella said it’s important the bump is addressed before F1 returns to the venue next year.
“I think that bump, if we carry on racing at nighttime, should be fixed, because the tyres will always be cold, low grip and it becomes a very tricky corner.
“Already during the weekend, we saw cases of oversteer in that place. So, independently of the timetable, we would strongly recommend that this bump is smoothened out.”
The conditions of the race saw plenty of drivers struggle for grip in the early part of the race, and Stella believes Norris just got caught out with the colder temperatures, heavy fuel, and perhaps even some aerodynamic disturbance from teammate Oscar Piastri just in front of him.
“In fairness, it’s the same bump for everyone, so it just depends on your speed,” he said.
“The condition of your tyres, potentially how your car is positioned there, how close you are to the car ahead. There are multiple factors. Maybe Lando made a kind of assumption that there was enough grip.”
Norris himself addressed the incident after being released from hospital, saying: “[It was] an unfortunate end to our Las Vegas GP weekend.
“I just bottomed out on the restart, lost the rear and hit the wall. Not the way we wanted the weekend to end, especially considering the pace looked promising on Oscar’s side.
“Big thanks go to the medical staff for checking me over, and to the team for the work they’ll now put in on the car. One week to reset and go again for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.”