Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Lando Norris

McLaren engineer on Norris past: 'It still haunts me'

Lando Norris' McLaren race engineer Will Joseph says he is still haunted by missing out on victory at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix after his driver claimed his first win in F1, saying it can be "put behind" them now.

Norris Joseph Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren race engineer Will Joseph says Lando Norris missing out on victory in Sochi in 2021 "still haunts" him, but that the pair can "put that behind" them after his driver won the Miami Grand Prix.

Joseph has been Norris' race engineer since the 24-year-old made his F1 debut in 2019. After the British driver took his first win, Joseph recalled the McLaren racer's near-miss at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix.

Norris found himself leading and comfortably controlling the race in Sochi. It was just two weeks after then team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had taken the Woking-based team's first F1 win in almost a decade, at the Italian Grand Prix - a race in which Norris had to settle for second-place.

However, a late rain shower changed the entire face of the race. Norris tried to stay out whilst others pitted. It turned out to be the wrong call and his McLaren hopelessly slid off the track, leaving Lewis Hamilton to take the win.

"It feels like a long time coming, especially after Russia," Joseph told Sky Sports F1 after Norris took victory in Florida.

"It haunts me every day, it does – it still haunts me in my sleep. I feel like we can put that behind us now."

'Sometimes just shut up and let him do it'

Joseph revealed there was uncertainty heading into the race in Miami, but Norris was able to take advantage of running long and an opportune safety car helped provide the platform for him to vanquish past missed chances.

"What a fantastic race," he added. "We discussed after qualifying the decisions we made, and we weren’t so sure. But I think I‘ll go back to him and say: ‘maybe they were the right ones.’

"We always said this morning that maybe our game is just to go long and hope that something happens. When the pace is there, you just do – there’s no reason to stop early. At one point, we thought we were going to be ahead for a whole lap, so it was good. It was very, very good – strong race."

Once the safety car period ended, Norris pulled a gap to Max Verstappen behind, ultimately going on to take victory by 7.6 seconds as the Red Bull dealt with floor damage from an off-track moment at the Turn 14/15 chicane on lap 21.

"You have to be worried about Max, he’s basically strong the whole time," Joseph explained when asked if he was concerned about the Dutchman after the race got back underway.

"But we were giving him the gaps for the first few laps [after the safety car restart] and once we seemed comfortable, we had a six-lap tyre advantage. And after a few laps we said: ‘just leave him alone. Leave him to it.’"

When queried as to whether Joseph was treating Norris as he usually would in the closing stages of the race, he replied: "There’s no reason to stop doing what you normally do. People in the background are looking at how we’re driving, how we can do it better. We still give that advice, but at the same time, we know sometimes just shut up and let him do it."

Join the conversation!

LATEST 'Flamboyant figure set for more hands-on Alpine F1 role'