Canadian Grand Prix – Lando Norris retired early from Sunday’s race in Montreal, after a technical failure appeared to melt his rear suspension.
McLaren had looked quite good around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve throughout Friday and Saturday, with Lando Norris qualifying an excellent P8 in Q3.
Starting the race strongly, the British driver enjoyed the opening laps of the race as he had a tete-a-tete with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen while the Dutch driver got up to speed on his Hard tyres. However, by Lap 8, Norris’ race was all over as he came across the escape area at the final chicane and drove down the pit straight with his right rear wheel at a 45 degree angle.
With flames licking around the wheel hub and replays showing that the British driver hadn’t hit anything, it appeared a mechanical failure had struck. Brake temperatures in Canada are notoriously high and it appeared as though Norris’ suspension had melted as a result of that heat, particularly in light of his late braking battle with Verstappen.
“The rear just tapped out, and didn’t want any more driving!” said Norris as he faced the press afterwards. “I didn’t hit any wall, or make contact with anyone – nothing out of the ordinary. So, it’s a bit of a mystery and even the guys don’t know what happened. They’ve got to look into it as there’s nothing unusual on the data or from my feeling or what they saw. Bit weird, but it happens and we’ve got to look on to the next race.”
“It’s annoying because until then it had been a fun race, battling with Max in the opening laps. There was good potential to maybe get some points today so it’s especially frustrating.”
With little warning prior to the failure, Norris said he was lucky that it didn’t happen at a point where the car was still moving at high speed: “I was quite lucky [with where it happened]. I came out of the last chicane and had to go straight on and it happened just as I came back onto the track. I could see guys coming up behind and I didn’t know which way to go so I had to hope I wasn’t hit and punted off in a different direction. Pulled it to the side and that was that.”
“But these things happen, so it’s a case of now looking ahead to Paul Ricard.”