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Norris "devastated"

NEWS STORY
27/09/2021

Losing out on what appeared certain to be his maiden Grand Prix win, Lando Norris admits to being devastated.

The Briton was just three laps from victory, when he was finally passed by Lewis Hamilton, the pair having looked set to try and get to the chequered flag without pitting for Inters.

Following numerous warnings, around 6 laps from the end, the rain began to fall and to further complicate matters was only affecting one part of the circuit.

Among the first to pit were George Russell, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen and as conditions worsened and others began to follow their example as their Inters warmed up the three began to make progress through field.

Channelling his inner Kimi Raikkonen, Norris shouted "shut up" when first advised to think about pitting followed by a firm "no!" when the suggestion was made again.

Also opting to stay out was seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, however he too eventually pitted on lap 49.

Rejoining the race in second, 25s down on Norris, as the McLaren driver slithered his way around the track, Hamilton soon closed to within 5s.

Unable to control his car in the worsening conditions, Norris went off and was lucky not to hit the barriers, and as Hamilton passed the hapless McLaren drivers, so too did Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.

Gingerly making his way back to the pits, Norris had dropped to eighth by the time he arrived, though back on track he was able to pass Raikkonen and claim seventh.

Nonetheless, this was little consolation for the youngster who had appeared set to score his first ever F1 win.

"Obviously I'm unhappy, devastated in a way," he told reporters. "I guess we made a call to stay out and we stand by that call, of course the wrong one at the end.

"I made the decision as much as the team, more they thought I should box and I decided to stay out," he admitted. "My decision, I thought it was the way to go.

"From one lap one to the other, the whole thing changed, the game changed completely," he said. "That final lap when Lewis boxed the slick tyre was still the tyre to be on.

"On that lap they asked ‘do you want to go on to the inter?' And for the lap I just did, I didn't, because the slick tyre was easily the correct tyre.

"Of course, now that's the wrong decision," he admitted. "But my feeling I had I didn't know there was going to be a lot more rain and there's no way of me knowing unless they told me there's going to be a lot more rain, which they didn't.

"I had the confidence beforehand," he said of the fact he came so close to winning. "I've felt capable of doing it for a while, but just a bit of heartbreak you know.

"I felt like I did everything I could even when it got tricky," he aded. "I made a couple of mistakes and still kept Lewis behind.

"The laps I was out, before Lewis boxed, it was perfectly fine for the tyres I was on, I got told the rain would be the same amount, but it obviously got a lot wetter than we as a team expected."

To compound his misery the McLaren driver was subsequently handed a reprimand after he overshot the pit entrance and had to re-cross the white line in order to pit.

Usually the offence carries a time penalty which might well have dropped the youngster out of the points.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Sochi, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 28/09/2021 1:44

"It was obvious that Norris drove a very good race and it was not bad luck that he lost but wrong decisions taken by both the driver and the team. By dissing on the team he has done them a disservice which is very poor form. Had he done what they wanted he would've won. It's as simple as that. IIRC Norris actually 'semi' boasted, in an exchange with Hamilton in the pen, that he'd 'totally ignored them'. What I see is that he needs to man up as well. Watching the Sky team being so solicitous of 'poor little Lando' was cringeworthy. Tearing up is not a good look and is hardly the essence needed to weather future hardships that will be experienced if he is to go on to bigger and better things in F1. Where the team really messed up was with Ricciardo's pit stop!! Daniel was on for at least a podium, maybe 2nd even. That was cruel as he'd driven such a storming session and had the measure of his attackers. By contrast...not a tear shed by Ricciardo. Just get on with the job and deliver the best result possible."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Pavlo, 27/09/2021 21:36

"The team should have calculated better and assured Lando he would win the race if he stops. Lewis had his main rival behind, not in front, and was not interested in any risk. He actually didn't try to overtake when he had a chance. Staying on slicks to try and win the race at the risk of losing to Max - it was clearly not worth.
All they needed is a clean stop, and then again Lewis would settle for second and not try to overtake.
So the best strategy was to switch as soon as they saw inters are faster and rain is not stopping."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 27/09/2021 18:49

"Talk about character building.
I was gutted as I watched this unfold, however, this will be something that McLaren as much as Norris bank as valuable experience.
A major positive is that McLaren appear to be on the up and it isn't just a matter of hoping the cars get into the top 10 but more so expecting that to happen and to be in the top six in quali.
"

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4. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 27/09/2021 16:52

"Ballsy choices have ballsy outcomes. Oh well, still a great driver; Norris."

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 27/09/2021 13:21

"Feel sorry for the kid, but he knows he drove a storming race & should feel confident for the future. I expect he'll have learnt something useful from the bad call he made."

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 27/09/2021 9:12

"Gutted for Lando, especially after keeping Lewis behind him in the wet. Can't wait to see the next race."

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