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Lando Norris admits McLaren made costly Canadian GP strategy error after losing out to Max Verstappen in Montreal


Lando Norris said McLaren “should have won” the Canadian Grand Prix but “didn’t do a good enough job as a team” in how they handled the first Safety Car phase in the rain-hit race.

The Briton eventually finished Sunday’s topsy-turvy rain-hit race in second place to Max Verstappen, but the 24-year-old believes he could, and should, have finished one position higher.

Having qualified third on the grid, Norris overtook first Verstappen and then George Russell on consecutive laps to lead the Montreal race by lap 21 with his McLaren revelling in the intermediate-tyre conditions.

Such was Norris’ speed at that stage of the race that, once in the lead, he opened an advantage in the region of 11 seconds in the space of four laps to lap 25, when Logan Sargeant crashed his Williams at Turn Five.

When Race Control made the decision to call the Safety Car a short while later, Norris was at the track’s final corner, which contains the entry to the pits.

The McLaren continued on track for another lap yet the gap back to Verstappen and Russell meant that their respective teams had sufficiently more time before they reached the pit entry to decide to come in. While his rivals were in the pits, Norris was dropping time on track after being picked up by the Safety Car and, although he pitted next time around, the 24-year-old re-emerged onto the track back behind both the Red Bull and Mercedes.

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Lando Norris eases past both George Russell and Max Verstappen to claim the lead at the Canadian Grand Prix

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 immediately after the race, Norris said that while McLaren “didn’t have enough time to make the decision” to pit immediately, he did admit that “realistically, we should have had the decision pre-planned, and we didn’t”.

He was then more explicit about his views on what had happened in the post-race press conference.

“We should have won the race today and we didn’t, so frustrating,” said Norris. “We had the pace. Probably not in the dry at the end. It turned out it didn’t really matter too much.

“But yeah, we should have won today. Simple as that. We didn’t do a good job, I think, a good enough job as a team to box when we should have done and not get stuck behind the Safety Car. So I don’t think it was a luck or unlucky kind of thing.”

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Max Verstappen and Lando Norris hilariously react to their battle out of the pits at the Canadian Grand Prix

Norris benefitted from the timing of the Safety Car when he won for the first time in F1 ahead of Verstappen at last month’s Miami GP, but the Briton said of the situation on Sunday: “I don’t think it was the same as Miami. This was just making a wrong call.

“So, it’s on me and it’s on the team and it’s something we’ll discuss after. We should have won today. I think we’re at a level now where we’re not satisfied with a second, like the target is to win. And we didn’t do that. So, frustrating, but a tough race and still to end up in second when it could always finish and could be worse is still a good result.”

Formula 1 heads back to Europe as the championship moves on to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. Watch every session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from June 21-23 live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime



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