Norris: ‘Terrible race’ included ‘worst ever stint’

Jon Wilde
Lando Norris McLaren

Lando Norris has revealed he messaged Lewis Hamilton directly this week, besides apologising publicly, following his comments about the World Champion.

Lando Norris has reflected on his “worst ever stint” as a driver – but it did not stop him from collecting points at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Despite his woes, the McLaren driver improved one place on his grid position to finish P9 and keep his points tally ticking over.

The 20-year-old Englishman has now been overhauled by Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ World Championship standings but sits a highly creditable fifth – with his total of 38 being a massive 23 more than his team-mate Carlos Sainz, who is joining Ferrari next year.

A week earlier, Norris had finished fifth in the British Grand Prix, also at Silverstone.

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“It was much harder than last week’s race,” Norris told Sky F1. “Tyre degradation was a much bigger issue. I think we were always expecting it but my second stint was the worst stint I’ve ever had in my life.

“I was just struggling with everything. I’m not too sure why, we’ll have to look into it, but massive vibrations from the blisters and everything, without feeling like I over-pushed in the stint to cause it.

“I thought I did a good job to bring the tyres in but obviously not.

“I’m surprised I was still P9 after what felt like a terrible race. So I’m still happy. I think we could tell the Racing Points and everyone ahead, even the Renaults, were much quicker.

“To be able to battle them and have a good start and first stint was also positive.”

For Sainz, it was another frustrating afternoon. Fortune has not been on the Spaniard’s side this term and he has repeatedly said he should have more points in the bag than he has.

This time he finished P13 following a lengthy pit-stop caused by a faulty wheel gun and then having to delay his exit due to a car incoming to a neighbouring garage.

“We managed to get a good start and after a very strong and long first stint we were in a good spot,” said Sainz.

“Unfortunately, it looks like we had a gun failure in the pit-stop, which undid all the work done before the stop.

“It looks like we could have been on for some points with the tyre strategy we had and with how we managed the race, but again I missed out on a good result for reasons beyond my control.”

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