McLaren F1 Team‘s Lando Norris felt he tried his best to hold onto the positions during the French Grand Prix, when his car suffered a hydraulic issue and had to drive without power steering.
Norris and McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. displayed quick and promising pace throughout the weekend at Le Castellet, seeing both cars qualify on the third row ahead of Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel. Both McLaren’s resumed their quick pace as the leading midfield team throughout the race.
But in the final third of the race, Norris picked up a hydraulics issue within his car, prevented him from using DRS and losing his power steering. The rookie had to nurse his car home with the issue, in which he was down in seventh place.
On the final lap, Norris lost out to Renault‘s Daniel Ricciardo, but the Australian left the track and re-joined in an unsafe matter, which forced Norris to go off the circuit and lose further positions to Kimi Räikkönen and Nico Hülkenberg.
The nineteen-year old Brit reflects at the start of the race, where he was close to attacking the likes of the front runners Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, before he had to conceive the position to his team-mate after being boxed in going into Turn 1.
“I had a good start, same as the guys ahead of me. Being on the inside, I got boxed in and Carlos managed to go around the outside, which was something I couldn’t have done from my starting position on the inside,” said Norris.
“The rest of the race was good, I had good pace and was just managing the gap to Carlos to protect my tyres for later in the race.“
For most of the Grand Prix, Norris was following behind team-mate Sainz before his hydraulic issue occurred. The issue caused Norris to lose speed and had to tackle his McLaren with no power steering, using his strength to control the now heavy steering wheel at racing speed.
Despite the issue costing him several places in the end, Norris’ weekend and performance to carry his wounded car home earned him ‘Driver of the Day’ as voted by the fans.
He initially finished the race in tenth, but was promoted to ninth after Ricciardo’s penalty for his actions on the last lap – involving both Norris and Räikkönen. Norris explained the issue, saying that the situation he was under was ‘very tough’ but praises the team for their hard work over the weekend.
“A hydraulic issue, around 20 laps from the finish, cost me a lot of time and made the car really hard to drive. The steering wheel went really heavy and I lost the power steering,
“It was really tough, I did my best not to lose places but it was too much of an issue to hang on as I had lost so much pace. Still, one point, considering everything, is a good result as it could have been much worse.
“Great job by the team all weekend and everyone back at the factory to give us both such a quick car.”