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Lando Norris

Norris reveals call that prevented first-corner Spanish GP wipe-out

But for a moment of quick thinking from Lando Norris, the Spanish GP could have been very different.

Norris Spain
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris is in no doubt that he made the "correct decision" at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix that prevented the prospect of a first-corner wipe-out.

From pole position, Norris made a clean getaway off the line, only for his McLaren to get bogged down with second-phase wheel spin that allowed Max Verstappen to reel in the Briton as they made their way down to Turn 1.

Norris attempted to fend off the attack of Red Bull's three-time F1 champion, pushing him onto the grass at one stage before giving way.

From behind the duelling duo, however, and from fourth on the grid, George Russell managed to gain a slipstream from Verstappen and then Norris that allowed him to power around the outside of the sweeping opening right-hander.

Norris knows, though, it was only his quick thinking that prevented a disaster.

"My initial launch, I think, was better than Max," said Norris, speaking to media, including RacingNews365. "The second phase, the drive out, was not as good.

"If George wasn't there, I think I still could have kept first around Turn 1, but George had a run on both of us, so even if my start was one or two metres better, which I think was all I probably could have done, just the long run down to Turn 1, the slipstream from the Mercedes, on both Max and myself, was more than anything that I could have done.

"I almost think George would have led no matter what, even if my start was two metres better. In some ways, that's what happens in Barcelona. George got a good start and I couldn't do anything about that. I settled in.

"I had to take third in Turn 2 because if I brake two metres later, I think I would have taken everyone out with me. I made the correct decision of backing out and letting George have it."

Norris rues Spanish missed opportunity

It is the second race in succession Norris has had an opportunity to claim victory.

In the Canadian Grand Prix, Norris netted the lead and was pulling away when a safety car was called after a crash involving Williams' Logan Sargeant.

A split-second call led to him opting not to pit, and ultimately again finishing second to Verstappen, as was the case in Spain, and for the fourth time in the past six grands prix overall.

Norris feels, however, that the Spanish Grand Prix was more of a missed opportunity than Canada.

"For sure, because that was more a decision, an incorrect decision or lack of decision-making," he said.

"We were definitely not the quickest car in Montréal. Mercedes was easily the quickest car. But [in Spain] we were the quickest. We had the best car. I had the best car out there, and I didn't maximise it.

"The start's down to me, doing what I get told and executing that. Without that, or with a good start, we easily should have won."

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