Norris: Monza recovery after problems “one of my best F1 races”


After grid penalties for several competitors, Norris started third on the grid, but his attempt to run in clear skies was nipped in the bud by a poor breakout from the line, which was due to a misalignment beyond his control.

Norris then got stuck in the DRS train behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo and decided to extend his first stint on mediums. That seemed to work perfectly and got him out in front of the bunch of cars again, until a slow pit stop for softs shuffled him back into traffic.

A late safety car then prevented the Briton from making the most of his soft tires and finishing higher than seventh.

When asked by TBEN if he thought he had done a good job recovering from his accidents, Norris said it was “probably one of my best races in Formula 1”.

“I just went extremely long in the first stint, I think I was boxing in round 35 or 36,” Norris said. “I would say it was probably one of my best races in Formula 1 in terms of management and patience with things.

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“It was definitely my best this year, but almost in Formula 1. P7 doesn’t feel like it accomplished much for what I did today, but that’s life. It happens, we will learn from it and move on.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, makes pit stop

Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Norris believed that without the slow stop he would have had a chance to hold off Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez, who were both coming through the field after a grid penalty.

“I probably should have finished P5, so I’m a little disappointed,” he added. “It was an extremely bad launch due to wrong settings, really there was nothing else I could have done. And then a bad pit stop, which probably cost us the position to Lewis.

“Whether he would have passed me after a few laps, maybe, but we would have had a race and a chance. And maybe I could have held on until the safety car. So yes, the fifth was where we should have been, but we are seventh.”

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Norris was warned by the team to expect a bad start but said he didn’t have a chance to change settings in time.

“It was just launch settings, which you have to have and you can’t adjust once the one minute signal goes away or whatever, you can’t change it, so I couldn’t have done anything,” he explained.

“They told me and I expected something bad. Of course, when the lights go out, you have to react and you feel like you have to get to work. That’s something that never happened and probably never will. Hopefully. Touch wood!”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Nyck de Vries, Williams FW44

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Nyck de Vries, Williams FW44

Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

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In addition to Norris’s problems, Ricciardo’s retirement after an engine failure left McLaren in a race for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship with Alpine.

But despite scoring fewer points than hoped, team boss Seidl said the car’s pace was encouraging, especially after being nowhere at Spa at the same high speed.

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“I agree it was a very strong race from both drivers,” he said. “On Lando’s side, unfortunately, we had too many problems that got in the way of an even better result because I think with a clean race it might have even been possible to score a P5.

“Even after losing the position to Fernando [Alonso] at the virtual safety car restart we were actually in a position to just overtake him back on track, which was encouraging to see.

“We expected a lot more problems with the speed of our car this weekend, so that was very encouraging.”