Lando Norris responds to George Russell contact after causing late puncture

Thomas Maher
Dutch Grand Prix: George Russell and Lando Norris battle for position at Zandvoort.

Dutch Grand Prix: George Russell and Lando Norris battle for position at Zandvoort.

McLaren’s Lando Norris inadvertently gave George Russell a puncture on his Mercedes as the pair squabbled in the closing laps at Zandvoort.

Norris would go on to finish the race in seventh place at the Dutch Grand Prix, having survived contact with Russell as the duo fought for position after the red flag stoppage.

Russell was forced to retire from a strong points place, having hauled himself back into contention following an early strategic faux pas from Mercedes, with the British driver returning to the pits with his punctured tyre.

Lando Norris: There was nothing I could do differently

While Norris was the culprit for Russell’s puncture, there was no reason for any punishment from the stewards as replays showed the two drivers had simply made light contact through Turn 13.

With Norris’ front right endplate brushing against the back of Russell’s left-front tyre, the contact was light but sufficient to slice into Russell’s rubber and resulted in him spiralling down the order as he slowed.

Returning to the pits, Russell confirmed over team radio that he was “done”, and explained what had gone wrong as he spoke to journalists afterward.

“Contact with Lando,” he told the media including, “unfortunate racing incident causing the puncture so disappointing but good that we had a fast race car.

It was very close around Turn 9, and then Turn 10, and then I ended up with a puncture. Nobody’s fault, it topped off what was a bad day.”

Norris himself said he felt sorry for how it had ended his compatriot’s race, but there was nothing he could do about it.

“Yeah, it was just that the cars are so sharp nowadays – you touch them a little bit and it’s like four punctures all of a sudden,” he said.

“So it was just good racing, it was close, we were wheel to wheel and I feel bad that he came off that way but there was nothing I should have done differently.” recommends

Revealed: The top 10 drivers with the most F1 points without a win

F1 Driver of the Day: Who has won the award in F1 2023?

Lando Norris wants a review after strategy error

With McLaren opting to keep Norris and teammate Oscar Piastri out on track on the dry tyres as most of the others dived in for intermediates, Norris didn’t pit until the end of Lap 3 – a stop that sent him tumbling down the order having lost time persevering on dry tyres.

Making up for that error as McLaren brought him in at the right moment for intermediates in the late rain shower, Norris said the team had been left exposed by the early error.

“It’s clear we made the wrong decision, we made a bad decision,” he said.

“It’s something we’ll review and talk about and discuss because I guess we’ve made a couple this season. We’ve lost too many positions and lots of other points throughout this year with a couple of these things.

“The second part of the race – we didn’t quite make up for it, but we made the right decision and we were one of the first ones to box and we gained some time again, gained a position on George and things like that. But the first one was just not great.”

Read next: Ralf Schumacher questions Mercedes’ miscommunication and Ferrari’s explanation