Lando Norris saw his chances of a best finish in Formula 1 disappear on the final lap of the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday as an engine issue saw him grind to a halt whilst running an excellent fifth.
The McLaren F1 Team driver had made a superb start to run inside the top five after coming through unscathed through a number of first corner dramas, and was running alone and comfortable in that fifth position until, on exiting the final turn on the penultimate lap, the Renault engine in the back of his MCL34 expired.
The retirement meant that he was classified just outside the top ten in eleventh as Alexander Albon, Sergio Pérez, Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hülkenberg, Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll all swept passed his stationary MCL34.
Despite racing all afternoon at Spa-Francorchamps without anyone near him, Norris did not think it was a boring race and he felt he was in full control of the race before the disappointment of retiring on the final lap.
The nineteen-year-old also paid respect to the family of Anthoine Hubert, who was tragically killed in a FIA Formula 2 crash on Saturday afternoon.
“First of all, my thoughts today are with Anthoine’s family and friends,” said Norris. “My deepest condolences to them.
“With my race, it wasn’t boring. It was still fun and exciting. We had an extremely good start, the launch was very good and in Turn One we managed to pass six cars in one go and get into fifth. We controlled it from there.”
Norris felt the final lap heartbreak of the retirement was tough to take but there were plenty of positives McLaren can take from Belgium ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
“I think we have some positives to look at,” said Norris. “Everyone in the team did such a good job and losing the engine on the last lap was tough.
“We have to move on from this and get ready for Monza.”