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Norris: A frustrating start, simple as that

Norris: A frustrating start, simple as that

Norris: A frustrating start, simple as that

Lando Norris lamented a poor start to his Spanish Grand Prix which meant Max Verstappen and George Russell were ahead of him coming out of Turn 1.

Norris started the Spanish GP from pole after a superb lap in Q3 in qualifying on Saturday, but a poor start with a stern challenge from reigning Formula 1 Champion Verstappen as well as a fast starting Russell in the Mercedes kept him chasing all afternoon to no avail.

The Briton had to settle for second, and reflecting on his race in McLaren’s post race report, he said: “A frustrating start, simple as that.

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“I lost a little bit to Max, he wasn’t completely alongside but with George on the outside, I didn’t have room to manoeuvre and that had me over. It’s disappointing, but there are still a lot of positives to take away from Barcelona. We come away with a lot of points and the car was amazing today, I think we were the quickest out there, so a big thanks to the entire team for their efforts throughout the weekend.

“We’re now focusing on Austria and Silverstone,” Norris added, “two of my favourite circuits and tracks where we have a good record, so I’m excited.

“We’re in a good spot and doing well each week, I just need to tidy up a few little bits in the upcoming races,” he concluded.

A subdued weekend for the #81 McLaren

While Norris was in the spotlight all weekend in Barcelona, fighting at the sharp end, his teammate Oscar Piastri was having a subdued weekend in the sister car.

He had a bad qualifying were he failed to set a lap in Q3 for exceeding track limits on both of his hot laps, but started ninth after Sergio Perez dropped to 11th following his three-place grid penalty which he received in Canada for driving a damaged RB20 on track.

After finishing seventh in the race, Piastri said: “P7 rounds off a tough weekend. I think the race today was a positive to take away, but overall, a challenging few days in Spain.

“Obviously, Qualifying was the biggest frustration and made things very difficult going into the race. I think we did some good things on strategy, trying to pull ourselves up but ultimately didn’t quite have the pace this weekend but we’ll go again next week in Austria,” the Aussie explained.

When you start from pole, it’s disappointing not to convert it into a win

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella did not hide his disappointment of missing out on the win in Barcelona, he said: “When you start from pole position gained on merit, it’s always a little disappointing not being able to convert it into a race win.

“But actually, the race today was decided by some details, in particular the fact that we couldn’t keep the first position at the first corner. But Lando was careful, and there was not much we could do with Russell gaining through the slipstream and Verstappen having the inside into corner one.

“From there, we lost a bit of time in the first stint, but actually, thanks to the strong pace of the car and a very good strategy, we recovered most of this time, and we were close to Max once again at the end of the race. On Oscar’s side, it’s good that we could recover some of the positions and score important points for the team in our quest in the Championship,” he explained.

McLaren also suffered from the fire that engulfed their hospitality center on Saturday, and Stella did not miss to thank all those who helped and supported during that incident.

He said: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the teams, the FIA, F1 and the local services that showed a great sense of support and gave their assistance when we lost access to the Team Hub during the race weekend.

“That was very much appreciated and showed a strong sense of community, which I would like to applaud and remark,” the Italian concluded.