Norris ‘panicked’ as marshal ran across track

Date published: November 30 2020 - Jamie Woodhouse

Lando-Norris-PA

Lando Norris spoke of the “panic” he felt as a marshal ran across the track in front of him during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Running in P3, Sergio Perez suffered a late engine failure which forced him to pull over to the side of the track and retire as marshals rushed to put out the fire at the back of the Racing Point.

But in order to do so, one of the marshals ran straight across the track in front of Norris in the McLaren.

“I panicked because it was the last thing I was expecting. The guy didn’t look left or right both ways before he crossed the road,” Norris told reporters in Bahrain.

“It was a double yellow and I was going slow enough because there was no point in risking anything at all.

“I mean, he wasn’t the most visible guy because at that point I’m looking to the sky, he is wearing pretty much black and blue, and it wasn’t that easy to see.

“All I kind of saw was a bouncing extinguisher, red extinguisher, it wasn’t lucky but it was just a bit of a crazy moment. The guy had some balls on him so fair play, but I guess that was just one of the things that happened in quite an eventful race.”

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It was an eventful race where Norris finished P4 ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz in P5, a result which sees McLaren return to P3 in the Constructors’ Championship with a 17-point buffer over Racing Point with two rounds to go.

“A much better Sunday than we were expecting coming into today, I guess not just for myself but for us as a team,” Norris explained.

“We both, between Carlos and myself, gained lots of positions off the line and we had very good starts. We put a lot of focus on that because it’s a place where you can easily gain two or three positions.

“We both did that and from the beginning, and both starts that we did, obviously I was a bit lucky after the first one with the contact and avoiding almost being out of the race at Turn 2, to starting P7 from the second restart and gaining again another position and so on.

“It was a good race, good strategy, good pace in the car, made up for my mistake yesterday and to end with a fourth and a fifth for us as a team was definitely not what we were expecting, so I think we can be very happy.”

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