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Lando Norris

McLaren: Norris radio outburst shows 'mindset of a champion'

The McLaren driver's radio comments during the Dutch Grand Prix were under the spotlight.

Norris Italy
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella believes Lando Norris's Dutch Grand Prix radio outburst shows the mindset of a champion.

Norris' engineer Jose Manuel Lopez instructed him to stay out on slicks when rain fell on the opening lap at Zandvoort, to which the British driver furiously responded: "What the f**k, are you stupid?"

Norris soon overruled the call from the pit wall and switched to Intermediates at the end of lap three - by which time he had lost track position and would ultimately finish seventh having started second on the grid.

Speaking ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Norris explained: "I always make myself look like an idiot and [the team] know that I would never mean something like that, of course.

"It’s more that we made some mistakes with our calls and our strategy and things like that.

"A bit of it is just emotions at the time. I always sound like I’m crying or moaning on the radio. I don’t know why. I

"I hate it but I feel like I’m really relaxed and chilled in the car but then I’m always the opposite when I listen to myself afterwards."

Stella backs Norris

Addressing the outburst, Stella told media including RacingNews365.com: "Lando made the comment that was broadcasted and he was obviously frustrated.

"He was frustrated because he realised that we were missing an opportunity by staying out one lap too long, and this is because people misread the situation and Lando was addressing it.

"That is what champions do. We like this character, we want to be totally challenged by the driver, and we can be heavily challenged because our culture is strong.

"We'd rather have this kind of challenge rather than a passive driver that just takes everything and doesn't contribute to the development of the team.

"For us, this episode is not a problem at all.

"We should also be careful in extracting a single comment out of context and then being overly judgemental about it. The review after Zandvoort has been very constructive, and I'm very pleased with reinforcing the culture that we saw in the team.

"This culture means that you have an awareness of what racing is, you have an awareness of how you should take drivers' comments, and just make use of it as long as they are constructive and just dismiss the rest.

"We are very aware of that and Lando himself is aware that he came across tough to the team, but he dealt with it immediately after the race, with just the quality of person and driver that we all know.

"In terms of how Lando perceives himself, I'm sure he will make some adaptions to his tone and pitch.

"In some time, we will hear Lando speaking in a slightly different way such that he comes across closer to what he expects from himself, and for us, we are happy and just have to make sure we support him as well as he deserves."

F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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