McLaren had a horrendous weekend in Brazil, scoring one point over the weekend after Lando Norris’ tenth place in the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, as the Briton dubbed the day disappointing for the team.
Norris finished the Sprint race in sixth place, and started the Grand Prix on Sunday from fifth after Lewis Hamilton’s engine penalty was effective.
But tangling with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz at the start gave him a left-rear puncture, which meant a long, and painfully slow trip to the pits for new tyres.
After that all he could do was recover to finish tenth earning him and his team a solitary point, on a day when Ferrari scored 18 points.
Not the Birthday gift Lando wanted
“A disappointing day for all of us as a team, as well as for myself,” Norris revealed in McLaren’s media brief post race.
“I had a really good start and as I tried to come back onto the track there just wasn’t enough room and I ended up getting the puncture.
“We could’ve scored some good points,” the Briton lamented. “We’ll review it and try to do a better job next time.
“The fight back through was good, managing to score a point, which is better than nothing,” Norris explained trying to find some positives in an otherwise disastrous day.
“I think that’s the best we could’ve done today after what happened.
“A tough few weeks but hopefully we can have a better one in Qatar,” the 22-year-old concluded.
Disaster for Daniel Ricciardo
Norris’ teammate Daniel Ricciardo didn’t even manage to finish his race, as he had to retire the car on lap 51, after losing power, as he was running a strong eighth.
Ricciardo reviewed his incomplete race in the team’s press review.
“It was going OK!” he began. “We went forwards at the start, which was definitely one objective after yesterday.
“I wasn’t happy with how the sprint panned out for myself, so I was determined to make it better,” the Aussie revealed.
“We had some good battles, Ocon made a good move on me early in the race and I was able to get him back with pretty much the same move, so that felt good.
“After that, we were in the fight with Gasly, and with Ferrari as well,” the 32-year-old went on. “We knew they had to two-stop. I think they had a bit more pace but maybe through strategy we could’ve disrupted them.
“But then we had a loss of power and had to retire the car. Definitely a shame, but it was a much more promising day than yesterday.
“We’ll take the positives from that, and we’ve got another chance next week,” the Honey Badger concluded.
Heartbreak in Brazil. 💔
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 14, 2021
A tough triple header for McLaren so far
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl lamented his team’s results that are not representative of the hard work being put in.
“A challenging Sunday afternoon for us with again just one point for a lot of effort,” Seidl began. “Unfortunately, after a good initial launch, Lando came together with Carlos [Sainz] which cost him a puncture and put him at the back with significant damage to the floor area resulting in a loss of performance.
“We kept fighting, Lando made his way through the field and did well to score a point, but it’s obviously disappointing given where we started,” the German pointed out.
“On Daniel’s side, he made up ground at the start and his race was going well until he was forced to retire, having suffered a power loss.
“The triple header has not gone well for us so far, but we’re hoping to have a better run in just seven days’ time.
“Irrespective of the result, everyone worked very hard this weekend, particularly given the intensity caused by the late arrival of our freight, and we had a competitive car,” Seidl revealed, as McLaren were one of the teams hit by the fright delay in Brazil.
“My thanks to everyone at the track, back at the factory and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP for their effort.
“We’ll continue to work hard, and look forward to going again with some exciting, new races starting with Qatar next week,” the 45-year-old summed up, adamant that McLaren will keep fighting.
McLaren can only hope to turn things around going into the last three races, as they leave Brazil 31.5 points behind Ferrari in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Table, more than double the previous gap between the long-time rivals.(Follow me on Twitter @MallakJad)