Lando Norris had some frustration of losing F1 Canadian GP, as he and Andrea Stella dive into the pit error that led to it.

It was a mixed day for McLaren and Norris in F1 Canadian GP. They showed glimpses of performance where they could have won the grand prix but on the other hand, there was a stint where they couldn’t really catch Max Verstappen to be able to fight him and beat him.

In fact, they were more on the side of fending off Mercedes which team boss Stella admitted to. Norris, meanwhile, thought McLaren had the pace to win if they had pitted at the right time to retain the lead. It was a close call to pit as the timing was very less for the driver or the team to react.

Irrespective of that, Norris felt the pace was there to win but they missed out on it. “We should have won the race and we didn’t, so frustrating,” he said. “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. 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. 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. But staying out on the Intermediate the second time helped me. It helped me have a chance against George, so I overcut him.

“I didn’t do a good enough job afterwards, and he was clearly way quicker than us in the dry and even on the Hard tyres. So, no, that was completely the right call and a good decision from us to stay out. It gave me a lot of lap time, but… And it’s not the timing of the first Safety Car with the first one. I had enough time to box and we didn’t box. So this was a mistake on us as a team.

“And yeah, just something we didn’t do a good enough job with. 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,” summed up Norris.

When asked if at any point after the second stop, he thought if he could hold up Verstappen if he came out in front, the Brit felt the push on the intermediate tyre came late which ruined any chances of it and that they were too far behind the Dutchman even though they had about 20-21s buffer, when the pit stop cost only about 18-19s.

Once Verstappen got ahead, there was little chance as the pace on dry was marginally less. Their main goal then shifted to retain second. “I mean, it takes a lap, two laps to warm up the tyres,” said Norris. “So yes, I overcut him and I overcut George, but you need a lap or two to warm up the tyres. So you’re always going to have an overcut type of race in that situation because a cold slick is not going to be as good as, you know, the Inter at the end of the stint.

“So that didn’t gain me or lose me anything, the little slide. And it was completely wet on the slick tyre. So it didn’t lose me or gain me anything. But we were too far behind Max in the first place. I probably pushed too late on that Inter tyre in the middle stint. It’s why we stayed out because I was so quick at the end of that stint, but I probably just didn’t push early enough.

“I probably could have got past George basically one or two laps before the pit stops and closed the gap to Max to give myself a better opportunity of undercutting or overcutting him. And we didn’t do that. So that’s more of a hindsight thing and something I wouldn’t change. I think we made the right call there, but that was all,” summed up Norris.

While the Brit didn’t wish to call themselves as unlucky, Stella termed the situation as one especially with the timing of the safety car and where Norris was on the track. He felt for a lead car in this situation, it is always tricky with the calls as others behind can react.

“We took a quick look, it looks like he Lando was one and a half seconds from the pit – from the time when you actually needed to turn, or you’re going straight,” said Stella to media. “In hindsight, we could have told the driver ‘in case of safety car – pit’, so he would have just reacted instinctively to pit. But we were monitoring the intensity of the rain.

“And this intensity in the last few minutes was kind of reducing. So we didn’t want to pit unnecessarily for a new set of inters when this set of inters could have been good enough in case of a very light rain. I think it was much easier for the car behind to kinda do the opposite, for instance, as Lando.

“I think that’s a little bit unlucky, not only with the timing of when the safety car was deployed, with respect to Lando’s position on track, but also the time of the safety car in the race, because at that time, Lando was by far the fastest car around on track,” summed up Stella, who elaborated on the two-face pace shown in two havles.

While McLaren could save tyres in the first stint without any pressure which allowed them to take the lead in the first place, in the second half on the dry compounds, they couldn’t really do that. They were in constant battle and Mercedes had some buffer on the fresh slick tyres to overcome them, which is why second was a good result.

“I think we knew that it would have not been easy to make it to the rain,” started Stella. “We expected around lap 30 initially. It would have been difficult for the intermediate tyres to survive that long. So, because we had no pressure, we started to save the tyres very, very early.

“Even when it kind of wasn’t necessary trying to find wet patches to make sure that the tyres stayed in good condition for when the track would have been more challenging. So, I think there’s no magic. It’s just the position we were in in the first stint meant that we could apply this strategy with no loss because we didn’t have pressure from behind.

“Not later in the race. I think later in the race things unfolded actually, like I say, Mercedes should have finished ahead of Lando, 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.

“But I think Mercedes could have caught up because they were a few tenths of a second faster than us, so 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, two or three safety cars, you have to assume they will happen and also the weather was around. So we knew that it was going to be a race decided by various scenarios. And ultimately, I think we are happy with the result.”

Here’s George Russell on fighting Oscar Piastri

Here’s Christian Horner on pit error from McLaren

Here’s how F1 Canadian GP panned out

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