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McLaren offer strong defence of Norris after self-criticism

Lando Norris heaped self-criticism on himself after the Spanish Grand Prix, something McLaren boss Andrea Stella does not agree with.

Norris Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren boss Andrea Stella has offered a strong defence of Lando Norris after his own self-criticism following the Spanish Grand Prix.

From pole position in Barcelona, Norris was bumped down to third at Turn 1 by the fast-starting George Russell from fourth and fellow front-row sitter Max Verstappen - both using the powerful slipstream on the 594m run to Turn 1 to get past the McLaren. 

Norris would go onto finish in second, just two seconds behind race-winner Verstappen but was adamant post-race that he "should" have won his second grand prix. 

However, his team principal Stella feels that Norris could not have done much more than he did on the run to Turn 1.

"The fact that Lando is self-critical is a style - and sometimes we react very much on the style rather than on the content of things," Stella told media including RacingNews365. 

"The start wasn't very bad at all, it was a decent start, like the one Max had, but that fact is that Russell got the double slipstream of Lando and Max.

"In Turn 1, Lando was very wise because, in a second, your race could be gone, and that is not the way we want to race, we want to stay in the race.

"From an opportunity point of view, it is more of a detail that you could have had a better start, you could have been one metre ahead, but it is very, very marginal.

"The fact that Lando was very harsh on himself for taking responsibility for it is a style aspect, like some of the other drivers would have complained that the Barcelona straight is too long.

"I like people who look at their own opportunities before thinking that the world plays against you and that you work on the variables that you can control."

Norris's approach

Stella added that Norris's mind-set of feeling disappointed having hunted down Verstappen from nine seconds behind after his final pit-stop with 18 laps to go to just 2.2s down at the flag was a good sign. 

"We don't over-react to the style of Lando being tough with himself, and it is something we will continue to fine-tune over the years, but from Lando's point of view, he did a good job across the weekend," Stella added.

"If he is upset to finish two seconds behind Max, then this is really good news for everyone including Formula 1 because it means that we have races - and with the little details, like defending your position, we can finally have some different winners."

Also interesting:

Verstappen's brilliant win, as Norris is continuing to develop as a driver. Perez's struggles and Lewis Hamilton's return to the podium are also discussed!

Join the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, reflecting on the Spanish Grand Prix and looking ahead to this weeked's Austrian Grand Prix!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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