Norris Happy Despite Losing Seventh to Sainz after Pit Stop Gamble

by Paul Hensby
Lando Norris - McLaren F1 Team - Baku City Circuit

Lando Norris felt it was a good Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend for the McLaren F1 Team despite him losing a place to team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. by gambling on making a second pit stop after the virtual safety car was deployed.

Norris was running seventh when he pitted to switch from the medium compound back onto the soft compound hoping it would give him a speed boost in the closing laps, but the mediums that both Sainz and Racing Point F1 Team’s Sergio Pérez, who he had been shadowing for much of the afternoon at the Baku City Circuit.

The Briton was happy to help McLaren secure their first two-car points finish since the same event in 2018, even though the pit stop gamble did ultimately cost him two points to his team-mate.

“Overall, it’s a good race for us as a team,” said Norris.  “A double-points finish, the first one of the year, which is a good thing.

“The whole race was pretty good. My start was probably the best I’ve done all year and I made no mistakes. I lost the tyres a little early in the first stint so boxed onto the Mediums, had a good middle stint and we took the decision to try the Softs after the VSC. 

“The thinking was that the other tyres, the Medium, while not worn, had done a lot and wouldn’t be able to turn on as well. It looked like they did, so it was the wrong decision. It could have worked, maybe if it had been a bit colder, but it didn’t and that’s just something we have to look back on.

“It always happens in racing! A good weekend altogether.”

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