Norris: We wouldn't have finished in the points anyway

Norris: We wouldn’t have finished in the points anyway

Norris: We wouldn't have finished in the points anyway
Lando Norris cut a disappointed figure after finishing a lowly 17th at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, after starting from third on the grid, but admitted points were never a possibility for McLaren in Barcelona.

Norris was superb in Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, lining up third on the grid on a day where many other drivers with faster cars faltered, namely Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

But that was as good as it got for Norris and McLaren, as an early altercation with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton saw the #4 McLaren return to the pits for a new front wing, dropping down the grid, and facing an uphill task for the rest of the Spanish F1 afternoon.

Reflecting on his race, Norris said in McLaren‘s post race press release: “Today we had a difficult afternoon. We just didn’t have the pace, compared to what we had yesterday, which is more or less what we expected, so it was difficult for us.

“At the start I didn’t see the Red Bull go off track, misjudged how much the cars in front were going to check up and I just clipped the front wing,” he said of his first lap incident. “It was the smallest of touches, but it cost us a lot, although I don’t think we would have finished in the points anyway.

“It was a difficult day for us as a team, but we’ll keep working hard to try to improve,” Norris concluded.

McLaren’s Qualifying flattered them

Oscar Piastri started his race from ninth on the grid, but went back to 13th at the end of the 66-lap race; he commented:  “It was a disappointing afternoon.

“Our pace in quali didn’t translate to the race, so it was tough. But it’s important we focus on taking the positives from Saturday’s quali result where our one-lap pace looked very strong.

“We now just need to work on the race pace as we head to Canada in two weeks’ time,” the Australian concluded.

McLaren Team Principal, Andrea Stella, hailed his team for working hard despite the bleak prospects evident early on in the race, admitting a good result in the race was always going to be tough.

“Following a very positive qualifying session, today’s Spanish Grand Prix was a more realistic showing of our current competitiveness,” Stella summed up.

“We knew it would be more difficult to perform at the top of the field on race pace today given the hotter conditions. The situation was compounded by contact on the first lap between Lando and Lewis Hamilton, which resulted in Lando pitting for a new front wing and falling 30 seconds behind the field,” the Italian explained.

“I would like to praise the team today. Despite a difficult position, both Lando and Oscar both kept pushing, their engineering teams put in maximum effort to extract everything from the cars, and the garage crew delivered good pit-stops.

“Back at the factory, everyone is working hard to deliver upgrades and looking to the future when we hope to be fighting for more competitive positions,” Stella concluded.