Lando Norris has no idea how he is still third in the F1 standings despite some other strong performance, as Andreas Seidl reckons podium was not possible in British GP.
Norris, one of McLaren’s newest F1 talents, is surprised to still find himself third in the 2021 drivers’ championship. This comes after an intense last few races, and with the Briton finishing in the points every single race – as he has done for all of 2021.
And up to this point, he is the only driver on the grid to be able to do so. It includes three podium finishes as well, with 113 points against his name after 10 races, to be five ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and nine ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
That is not the group he is fighting against, though, with his real rivals being Ferrari pair Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who are also doing extremely well this season so far. The latter had a solid result Sunday’s Silverstone race, registering his first podium.
“I have got no idea of how I am still third in the championship, considering Charles was second in the race and Sainz doing well, it is a good result for us,” said Norris to TV media. “It is a bit of a damage limitation even with the result we had. There’s a lot of positives, especially to be long way ahead of the pack, there’s a lot of good things.
“Ferrari were strong this weekend, difficult to race against and beat but it comes and goes. We have been better in some and they have been better in some.” Seems then, that Norris is still unsure about his racing prowess. He has out-qualified all expectations this season and continues to score in the top points positions, yet still cannot believe how he is third.
This could be due to a fourth-place finish on Sunday for the driver, and a second place finish for Leclerc. When asked about his thoughts on the result, he said that he would have liked to finish third, after losing out on a battle with Bottas. He was satisfied with the overall result however, with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo coming in at a strong fifth, the best result of the season so far for him.
“I can’t be not satisfied, fourth and fifth as a team is a great result for the team,” said Norris. “I had a very good race until the pit stop and I held up Bottas for a long period of time, especially when they were a lot quicker than us, so it happens every now and then, the boys have done a great job with the pit stops, so one bad one, you got to give it.
“Of course, they want to feel bad, I feel bad, but it happens. I was frustrated as I knew I was in the fight with Bottas, whether or not, I would have finished third, I am not too sure. But when the adrenaline’s running, to finish third or not was not certain, but at least I would have battled and put on the show,” summed up Norris.
Team boss Seidl was equally pleased with the results. There was just the one blip, with the pit error for Norris, where the left-rear got cross-threaded. McLaren has had some issues in the past, but this year, it has been a lot smoother with less mistakes.
“After a series of really good pit stops this year, unfortunately, we had an issue,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net. “There was a cross-threaded wheel nut and that delayed the pit stop to six seconds. It was the same crew as always and it was a hardware issue that we had, nothing to do with the performance of the crew, they have done great pit stops, especially in the last two months after we made a few steps forward.
“It’s something we haven’t seen for quite some time, so we need to analyse exactly what happened there, analyse the parts and see that we can make sure it doesn’t happen again. But let’s say thanks to all the training the crew did and the hardware improvements over the last couple of years also, it meant that it was a delayed pit stop but it was not a catastrophic pit stop like we have seen in the past.
“Of course, you don’t want it to happen but at least if it does it’s safe and it allowed us to stay in the race,” summed up Seidl, who reckoned the pit stop did not cost them a podium place when asked by FormulaRapida.net, if without the issue, they could have stayed ahead of the Mercedes duo.
“In terms of the outcome of the race, it’s difficult to say if there was a chance to fight for third,” said Seidl. “I think if we would have had a normal pit stop Valtteri would have gone long with his stint and then create a tyre delta. We have to be realistic and he would have just gone by. Overall for us, it was a very strong weekend.”
The article was written by Neeladri Nag
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo on his defence