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Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2024

Norris: 'The safety car had me over' in 'wild' Canadian GP

So near yet so far for Lando Norris. Second for the 10th time in his F1 career.

Norris rain race Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris was able to laugh off the intervention of a safety car during a chaotic Canadian Grand Prix that arguably cost him a shot at victory.

Making the most of wearing intermediate tyres, Norris first surged by Red Bull's Max Verstappen on lap 20 and then a lap later Mercedes' George Russell to take the lead.

Four laps later, though, with the McLaren driver galloping away into the distance, Williams' Logan Sargeant crashed into a wall, bringing the safety car into play.

When it was called, Norris had just passed the pit entry, whereas Verstappen, who had also passed Russell beforehand, was able to take on fresh inters. It appeared as if Norris had enough in hand to make his stop and resume in the lead.

Unfortunately, he picked up the safety car late in the lap which slowed him down just enough that by the time he emerged back onto the track, it was just behind Verstappen.

Despite an additional safety car later in the race when Williams' Alex Albon ran into a spinning Carlos Sainz, Verstappen controlled the situation at the front, with Norris having to settle for second, 3.879s adrift.

Suggested to Norris the race was wild, he replied: "It was. It was chaos. It was eventful.

"To be honest, I felt like I drove a good race from start to finish. The first two stints were very strong, I had amazing pace, then the safety car had me over. Just like it helped me in Miami, now it had me back over."

That was with reference to the fact a safety car in that grand prix worked to his favour, allowing him to secure his maiden F1 win at the 110th attempt.

He added: "Honestly, I thought it was a pretty perfect race from my side. Just a bit unlucky, but that's what it is. But it was good fun. These conditions, so stressful inside the car, but very enjoyable at the same time."

Norris 'not going to complain'

The rain played its part, sweeping in and out over the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, requiring a mix of inters and slicks at various stages.

Assessing the first safety car in more depth, Norris added: "The first stint, I was in the lead by what, 10, 12 seconds? [I was] pulling away by two, three seconds a lap.

"Things were going beautifully, but this is Montreal, and there's always something that's got to come into play, but it was good, and fair play to Max, he drove a good race, no mistakes.

"I'm happy with the second, good points for the team, and a good weekend."

Suggested to Norris that it was not ultimately one of those races that got away from him, he replied: "That's the way it is. It helped me out in Miami, so I'm not going to be the one to complain. It happens. That's racing.

"I drove a good race, the car's been great all weekend, so thanks to the team. We're close, it's nice to be so close again, and on the podium. We'll keep fighting."

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