McLaren will review ‘unacceptable’ contact between teammates Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri as they react to the F1 Italian GP happening.

Amid all the other shenanigans in F1 Italian GP at Monza, the McLaren pair of Norris and Piastri too had a minor contact at Turn 1 when the former undercut the latter to gain track position. It could have been dangerous but both escaped any major damage.

McLaren decided to pit Norris before Piastri in order to keep both their cars ahead of Fernando Alonso as per team boss Andrea Stella. But he notes if the undercut played a role in the contact, then they will review as it will be unacceptable.

In fact, Stella was stern in his view of McLaren cars colliding which is something he doesn’t wants to see. He was not hugely miffed and took it as just misjudgement from either drivers which they can resolve with discussions internally.

He won’t be directing things as they are free to race but they want the drivers to be smart enough to understand the situation. Both Norris and Piastri were calm too about the situation, but were open to review and discuss what could have been done differently.

Contact with Lando Norris –

Piastri: “It’s obviously not ideal. Fortunately we both were fine after. Of course the intention is never to get that close. I braked where I braked and I couldn’t really slow down much more than that. I was at the limit of locking up and it was tight. In the end, nothing happened so I’m sure we’ll talk about it.”

Contact with Oscar Piastri –

Norris: “I guess he was just on cold tyres or something, so he had a bit of understeer. I tired to leave a bit of a….I left enough of a gap, I think, but it’s impossible to see, it was very difficult to see in the mirror. I left a big gap. But it’s just hard and cold tyres is not a nice combination, and I guess he just ran into my rear tyre, but nothing else. I think we respect each other. We give each other space. Unfortunate, but nothing happened. So all okay.”

Contact between teammates –

Stella: “There should never, ever be a contact between two McLaren cars. There was a contact, which doesn’t fit the way we go racing at McLaren. It’s okay, you just review things like you do with anything that is technical, operational or racing. What is important is to have a clear parameter as to what you deem acceptable and what you deem not acceptable. It’s not an emotional thing, it’s just like you deal with other things, you deal with racing in a similar way. And this is very clear that for any driver, there’s something bigger than them. It’s the team.”

Review of the situation –

Stella: “I need to review. Like all things we’ll do it calmly, there’s nothing that we need to do urgently. So we will review, we take the adjustments that we need to take. I’m sure even the drivers will calibrate themselves for a similar situation. It’s always a little tricky when you leave the pit, especially on hard tyres. Certainly Oscar was trying to see where he could place himself so that he could keep the position but on colder tyres, this could be slightly more difficult than he might have anticipated. So we could absolutely conclude that this is just a little misjudgement. Therefore it means there’s no problem at all. Both drivers race and they were aware that there must be no contact between two McLarens and it was just an issue with the execution. We all have issues with execution on what we do and when drivers do that, it becomes very visible. But it’s just because they do something difficult and under the spotlight.”

Undercut played a role but why the stop –

Stella: “We pitted Lando before Oscar because Lando was the car that was most under pressure when Alonso pitted. It wasn’t clear as soon as Alonso would have cleared the AlphaTauri, how fast he would have been. So we wanted to make sure that we had two McLarens ahead of Alonso. So that’s why you go this kind of sequence. If the contact is due to the fact that there was pressure because of the undercut and so on, then we have something to review. Because it means drivers put the team at risk because of affirming themselves, this is not acceptable.”

How to handle it –

Stella: “They are free to race. My role is to give them principles and a clear parameter within which they can race. This is what we want to see – it is exciting to see like the Ferraris in Monza. I am sure on the Ferrari pitwall they were nervous but it was good spectacle. We want to see racing but our role is to give the drivers a clear parameter within this racing should happen. In terms of how you stay within the parameter, it’s not for us to say because we are not the drivers. It’s actually within them to have the skillset to say, ‘the tyres are a bit cold, maybe I need to take more margin’, like it is not for me to say, I am not in the car. Even if I am in the car, I would have not been any safer than that. It is just they need to appreciate that there is no way the line should be crossed.”

Here’s Alexander Albon, Lando Norris on their incident

Here’s Lewis Hamilton apologising Oscar Piastri

Here’s Lando Norris on partnering Max Verstappen