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Lando Norris

Norris reveals crash damage after 'smart' Sainz driving

The McLaren driver describes the final laps as he and Carlos Sainz worked together to hold off the charging Mercedes drivers.

Norris Singapore
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris praised Carlos Sainz for his "smart" driving for how the Singapore Grand Prix tactically gave the McLaren DRS in the closing stages and revealed he damaged his steering with his wall-strike.

Sainz purposefully kept Norris within the one-second window needed to activate DRS to create a 'train' effect, which prevented George Russell and Lewis Hamilton from overtaking on fresher tyres.

Both Mercedes drivers elected to pit during a late Virtual Safety Car, while Sainz and Norris stayed out to hold track position.

It worked as Sainz took the win with Norris banking a third second place of the season and fourth of his nine F1 podiums.

Norris praised the gamesmanship of his former teammate when speaking to media, including RacingNews365: "Carlos played it smart. There was no need for me to try and attack him.

"The more I attacked him, probably the more vulnerable I would have been from both the guys behind.

"It was a stressful last few laps, I think we both knew as soon as the VSC came out, we had to put in a stint-and-a-half and try to open up the gap as big as possible. But they still caught us.

"Then it was about not making a mistake.

"I knew with George, he was going to pressure me a lot. He did and I had to defend quite a bit into Turns 14 and 15.

"That's when Carlos backed off after that when there was a little bit of a gap and allowed me to get the DRS which was very helpful.

Norris 'panicked' after wall hit

Norris revealed that he hit the wall at the same place that Russell did at Turn 7, which sent the Mercedes driver careering into the TecPro barriers on the last lap.

The McLaren driver thought that was the end of his race, having done significant damage with half a lap to go.

"The last lap then I had a bit more of a breather. I hit the wall, where George also hit the wall, but I hit it with the front so I kind of panicked a bit thinking maybe I just messed it all up," said Norris.

"But it damaged the steering, in terms of it was just off-centre. Luckily, it wasn't nothing more than that. So an amazing race, a stressful race from start to finish. A lot of management, but perfectly executed."

F1 2023 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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