Lando Norris had Russia flashback during F1 Monaco GP in strategy situation, as both he and Oscar Piastri had Max Verstappen moment.

McLaren’s Norris had flashbacks of the 2021 Russian GP where he didn’t listen to the advice of his engineers to pit for the intermediate tyres and went off to end a potential chance of a F1 win. It played on his mind during last weekend’s Monaco GP.

He was not leading this time but the situation was similar in terms of rain falling at certain pockets. While in Russia, he didn’t pit for intermediates to against his team, this time he listened to them and pitted for slick tyres when it started to rain a bit.

The prediction was for light rain but it intensified leaving them with no choice but to come again. He did manage to finish ninth still which was the maximum McLaren could have done with eight relatively quick cars ahead of them in the order.

“With some of it, not a lot of it, the pace in the dry was pretty bad,” said Norris to media. “We were pretty slow. A long way off the pace of the AlphaTauri. We did the extra pit stop in the middle, which also was probably just something we need to review. I obviously went with the information I was given, and the information given was that it wasn’t going to rain anymore than what it did for those first few laps.

“It was just around Turns 6-7-8-9, it was just raining there quite a bit but the rest of the track was completely dry, so at this point I was till…reminded me of Russia…tough. With the information I was given it was not going to get any worse than this, I am happy to box as we had to cover de Vries, it was a chance to try and get ahead of Yuki.

“I guess I should think of myself of what more I could have done, should I have questioned it, should we just wait for one or two more laps, and then seen how wet it got before going onto the hard tyre or going onto the intermediates. It is tricky, it is tough to make these decisions perfect at the time, it was the wrong decision as hindsight, we were one of few people to have done it, I know Fernando did same as us.

“We maybe lost 30 seconds or something from this. That was an easy two, three positions at the end of the race because the pace on the intermediate was the quickest on track by quite a long way. Some good points, but the pace in the wet doesn’t matter, honestly. Just a little ego boost, I guess. I know just that we shouldn’t have boxed,” summed up Norris.

Team boss Andrea Stella explained why the decision was taken to pit for the dry tyres at that moment instead of intermediate. “Unfortunately the forecast we had was that it would be Class Zero to Class One, which is light rain,” he said. “That’s also why we didn’t want to leave Lando out on finished dry tyres because in that situation, when it gets a little damp, the dry tyre switches off and becomes like plastic.

“So we thought we would put him on new hard tyres, because the hard here is relatively soft, and then we would get through this period. But then the rain after one or two laps became very heavy in a couple of places and clearly we needed to go on the inters. I think in these situations it’s very difficult because of this element of the topography here.

“The wind direction and even the radar isn’t very useful in terms of telling you the level of intensity. In hindsight you could say with Lando we should have stayed out, but how might we have gone through those couple of laps with the finished dry tyres when there was a lot of water in quite a few corners? We could be sitting here discussing why he crashed,” summed up Stella.

The scene was such that he encountered Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in his way too during those moments. In fact, Norris was very quick towards the end and he didn’t understand why even. He thought of passing the Dutchman to unlap him but he didn’t.

“I was in the position where I wanted to take risks, I want to push it, I am not going to sit there and do nothing,” said Norris. “The pace on the second stint was unbelievable, I caught Max by like 10s. I wanted Max to get blue flags. Probably for the first time in his life he would have had blue flags, which would have been amazing.

“I don’t know how or why, half the track was dry in the end and all the people were not pushing that much. The pace was good but honestly I didn’t wanted to try and overtake Max, I mean I would love it and he would hate it. He’s going to win Monaco, I didn’t want to interrupt that kind of thing,” summed up Norris.

His teammate Piastri too caught up with Verstappen at one stage but it was on dry tyres when it started to rain. The Australian took some help of where he could drive and didn’t wished to pass him to make headlines of taking him out.

“To be honest, I was actually happy that I had Max in front of me,” said Piastri. “I thought if there was anyone who’s got some experience with this, he’s leading the race, probably going to be a good reference. So, I was trying to go a little bit quicker than him but not a lot quicker than him.

“At that point with slicks in the rain, I didn’t fancy becoming a headline of taking out the race leader in Monaco, to be honest, but it was so tricky. At those low speeds when we have got no downforce left on the car, relative to the high speed, we don’t have that much grip anyway and then you have got wet tyres that are cooling down massively as well, wet paint everywhere, so it was very-very tricky.”

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