Lando Norris was naturally unhappy when the VSC initially arrived in F1 Chinese GP, as he talks about retaining second at the end.

For a moment, both Norris and McLaren had a huge disappointment when the Virtual Safety Car was deployed to clear Stake F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas’ car in the middle of the Chinese GP. He missed the call by a corner and swearing immediately.

It gave a chance for Ferrari to pit Charles Leclerc and not lose time. But fortunately for Norris, the VSC period was extended and eventually converted into a safety car period. That nullified any gains that Leclerc made by pitting under the VSC.

“I knew it, there was a few f-words and s-words and so on,” said Norris to media. “I knew it because it was obvious it was going to be a VSC. But it just didn’t come out. So I was saying to myself, like, ‘I bet it’s going to come out as soon as I go around the last corner’, and it literally did. So even my engineer said it. I said it to him.

“Luckily, it stayed out a long time and then it obviously went to Safety Car. It was good, I think our strategy worked out well. I felt confident in the first stint, so I could go a very long time. If the VSC went out before I got around to the pit lane I would have been a lot more annoyed than I am right now.

“But yeah, things obviously went our way for sure. Because it made the Red Bulls have to stop again. And that obviously put me out ahead of Checo with the Ferrari in between us. And that probably saved me a little bit,” summed up Norris, who eventually didn’t need to defend second in the end from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

The Mexican couldn’t challenge Norris even after fighting off Leclerc. “Hard to say, I think it’s a track where when you’re in control and you can manage things, it can really be in your favour,” said Norris when asked if he was surprised that Perez didn’t catch him. “And I think that’s where the race was so different for us in sprint.

“I was behind the whole pack. You overheat your tyres, you just struggle. There’s not a lot you can do. And in the main race, I could control things on my own. I could break away from Charles very quickly. And then Charles was holding up Checo a lot. And Checo probably had to use a lot of his tyres to try and get past him.

“So yeah, it depends how you think of it. I probably maybe expected a bit more of a battle but then when I know how much he pushed in the beginning to pass the Ferrari, it allowed me to be a bit more comfortable, which was a nice thing,” summed up Norris.

Here’s how F1 Chinese GP panned out

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