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Frederic Vasseur

Norris 'lucky' after safety car error in Miami - Vasseur

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has underscored how an error by the safety car at the Miami Grand Prix helped Lando Norris, saying the McLaren was "a bit lucky" as a result of the mistake.

Vasseur opportunity
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Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has highlighted how the safety car picking Max Verstappen in error at the Miami Grand Prix worked in Lando Norris' favour.

Norris extended his opening stint and peeled into the pit lane when a safety car was called. He had inherited the lead after his rivals had stopped, having initially been down in sixth position.

After emerging from the pits, Norris found himself in front of the safety car, which had picked up second-place Max Verstappen instead.

The situation was ultimately fixed, but the confusion gave McLaren a pressure-free stop with no threat of losing the lead to the Red Bull.

"I would say that probably Lando [Norris] was a bit lucky, because he was the only one on track," he told media including RacingNews365.

"But more than this, I think it's the fact that they put the safety car in front of [Max] Verstappen.

"They are so used to having Verstappen leading the pack that they sent the safety car in front of him and the safety car was quite slow and it was a very good move at the end for Lando."

'I forgot my crystal ball'

Vasseur's driver Carlos Sainz was in the unfortunate position of having just made his pit stop when the Kevin Magnussen-induced safety car neutralised the race on lap 28.

The Haas was judged to be at blame for forcing Logan Sargeant into retirement from his home race.

"I forgot the crystal ball," Vasseur joked when asked about Sainz's misfortune. "I was not aware that [Logan] Sargeant and [Kevin] Magnussen would crash the lap after [Sainz had pitted].

"Yeah, for sure, that you are in this situation you are a bit unlucky.

With McLaren bringing a substantial upgrade package to Miami, the Woking-based team was able to further close the gap to Ferrari.

At the previous round in China, Norris in particular was able to surprise the Scuderia with his race pace, claiming a second-place finish. Vasseur's other driver, Charles Leclerc, had expected Ferrari to join the Red Bulls on the podium in Shanghai, but that was not to be.

Whilst Ferrari itself is due to bring a new package to the next round, at Imola, Vasseur expects a close fight in coming races, using the weekend in Miami as an example.

"We don't have to extrapolate like this, I think that you had a group of four or five cars able to win today - or even six, because [Oscar] Piastri had a good pace," the 55-year-old contended.

"It is like it is now, it's the fight on track that the circumstances, the strategy - the track position in Miami - are dictating the result at the end."

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