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Stella: Mercedes should have finished ahead of Norris in Canada

Stella: Mercedes should have finished ahead of Norris in Canada

Stella: Mercedes should have finished ahead of Norris in Canada

Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal, claimed his team did not throw a win away in the Canadian Grand Prix, insisting Lando Norris beating Mercedes was an achievement.

The Canadian Grand Prix was a tricky one for the teams to navigate, with the race starting in wet conditions as the track soon started to dry out, while rain was expected later on, as two Safety Car periods, the first one in particular, mixing things up even more.

Earlier in the race, when the track was drying up, Norris was catching race leader George Russell and second-placed Max Verstappen quite fast, and indeed the #4 McLaren soon took the lead of the race.

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But the Safety Car that came out to allow marshals to retrieve Logan Sargeant’s crashed Williams meant Verstappen jumped Norris for the lead, the latter pitting one lap later after the Safety Car was sent out.

Later on, when the teams were switching for slicks, McLaren kept Norris out a lap too late, which meant Verstappen who pitted before him was on warmed up Medium tyres once the Briton emerged from the pits on cold ones.

Stella: We are happy with the results

However, Stella insists that McLaren actually over-achieved in Canada, and used the late-race pace of Mercedes to say that Norris finishing ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton was actually a decent result since given all the scenarios, McLaren needed a big pace advantage over Mercedes, something they didn’t have.

He told the media in Montreal last Sunday, quoted by Motorsport.com: “I think later in the race, things unfolded… Mercedes should have finished ahead of Lando.

“So if anything, we maximised what was available after the safety car. Without the safety car, then I think Lando could have accumulated such a large advantage that then we could have tried to make it to the end on the dry tyres.

“I think Mercedes, they could have caught up – because they were a few tenths of a second faster than us,” the Italian pointed out. “We really needed a decent advantage to make it safely to the end.

“But obviously, this is a little bit academic because in a race like this [with] two or three safety cars… you have to assume they will happen and also, the weather was around.

“We knew that it was going to be a race decided by various scenarios and ultimately, I think we are happy with the results,” Stella insisted.