Lando Norris aims cheeky dig at ‘beginners’ McLaren over crucial tyre call

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris celebrates his P2 finish. Silverstone July 2023.

McLaren driver Lando Norris holds two fingers aloft after finishing second at his home race. Silverstone July 2023.

Lando Norris joked that McLaren are “still beginners in some things” after being fitted with hard tyres instead of softs for his final stint at Silverstone.

Norris was able to pit under Safety Car conditions after extending his opening stint on mediums, with the tyres lasting longer than expected during Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

With the time left in the race, other drivers opted to move to soft tyres, including the chasing Lewis Hamilton behind Norris, but the McLaren driver held on to equal his career-best Formula 1 finish come the end of his home race.

Lando Norris praises ‘amazing job’ McLaren have done

Norris had taken the lead of the race early on after getting the jump on Max Verstappen at the start, before the Red Bull driver retook first place on the fifth lap.

But Norris was back on the podium and, combined with Oscar Piastri finishing fourth, McLaren jumped up to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship with a 30-point haul from Silverstone on Sunday.

Despite there having been a huge leap forward in terms of pace for McLaren, that did not stop Norris from making one cheeky dig at his team.

“Yeah, it’s pretty insane,” Norris said after the chequered flag.

“I just want to say a big thanks to the whole team. They’ve done an amazing job, and none of this would be possible without the hard work that they’ve been putting in, so pretty amazing.

“They put me on hard tyres. I don’t know why, they’re still beginners in some things,” he added with a smile, “but yeah, it was an amazing fight with Lewis to hold him off.

“Made a few too many mistakes maybe, but I brought the fight to Max for as long as possible.

“So a long, lonely race when you’re just in the middle, but this is amazing.” recommends

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The call to change onto hard tyres appeared to backfire for the likes of Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz falling away in terms of pace and others being able to make one-stop strategies work by using only medium and soft tyres.

When asked specifically about that call to move onto what turned out to be a slower tyre, the 23-year-old joked the call most likely came from above to make life slightly harder in the final part of the race.

“I think they just wanted to give me a bit more of a test I guess, that’s what Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] said anyway, probably Zak called the shots on that one,” Norris added.

“I mean, I wanted the softs, I feel like it made a bit more sense, especially with the Safety Car coming out. But I don’t care, I’m P2, so all good.”

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