Norris frustrated by Safety Car timing

Silverstone, UK

British Grand Prix – McLaren’s Lando Norris was left feeling frustrated after the mid-race Safety Car at Silverstone ruined his afternoon.

Lando Norris finished just outside the points, in P11, in Sunday’s F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The McLaren driver had started from P8, but the mid-race Safety Car stymied his strategy.

Having started the race on the Softs, Norris pitted on Lap 13 to take on the Medium tyre. The Safety Car came out on Lap 19, to cover the recovery of the beached Alfa of Antonio Giovinazzi from the gravel, meaning that other drivers, including Norris’ teammate Carlos Sainz, benefitted from having not pitted yet and could do so without as much time loss.

Getting on the radio to say how he “felt screwed by the strategy”, Norris kept his head down and pitted again on Lap 35 to take on Hard tyres to take him to the chequered flag. Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat all ended up ahead of the McLaren man as a result of the Safety Car, meaning the British driver couldn’t help but feel downbeat about his home race: “I had a really good start. A little bit of contact in Turn Three caused slight damage but nothing that really made much difference. I did the first stint – got undercut by Ricciardo – which was a little bit frustrating, and then the Safety Car came out.

Carlos Sainz benefits from the Safety Car to come home in P6

“With hindsight, maybe we didn’t make the best choice by not boxing, but apart from that I couldn’t do anything else and I feel like I did the maximum possible.” Norris continued. “It’s not the way I wanted my home race to go, but I’ve enjoyed this weekend and I’m looking forward to coming back next year.” 

Team boss Andreas Seidl said: “Lando also had another great race start, overtaking Ricciardo on the first lap. Ricciardo then undercut Lando at the first pit-stop by stopping one lap earlier, and with the Safety Car we decided to split strategies between our cars, trying to gain track position for Lando. We then ran a two-stop strategy with fresh Hard tyres towards the end of the race, in order to try and overtake other cars which we thought might struggle with their tyres. Unfortunately for Lando, after driving a great race, it didn’t end up with any points for him because the tyres on our main competitors lasted longer than we anticipated.

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Thomas Maher

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