Lando Norris, McLaren, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Norris’s pit stop problem forced McLaren to leave Sainz out

2019 Mexican Grand Prix

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McLaren were unable to bring Carlos Sainz Jnr in for his scheduled pit stop because of the problem which occured when they brought Lando Norris in.

Norris was told to stop shortly after he left his pit box. The team pushed him back up the pits to their garage area where they remedied a cross-threaded wheel nut before sending him on his way again.

However while the was happening Sainz had to stay out on the circuit for longer than planned on his used set of soft tyres. McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl explained what happened.

“Of course we wanted to clear the pit lane first,” said Seidl. “This might have caused a delay to stop of one or two laps.”

Sainz reported over the team radio his the front left tyre was fading and was asked by his race engineer if he could stay out for one more lap so that the team had time to clear the pit box of Norris’ car. “Yes I can, but at this pace no,” Sainz replied.

The extra lap in Sainz’s first stint had consequences for drivers ahead of him. Red Bull driver Alexander Albon made his pit stop and came out of the pits behind the McLaren while Sainz was nursing his tyres for another lap.

However Sainz’s extended first stint was not a major factor in his inability to convert his seventh place on the grid into a points finish, said Seidl. “The main issue was we had nothing to fight with the hard tyres,” he said.

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3 comments on “Norris’s pit stop problem forced McLaren to leave Sainz out”

  1. These tyres are crap for racing. Teams should not be struggling so much getting the tyres to work. Especially when this is supposed to be a cost cutting measure by using a single supplier.

    Even road cars often have tyres designed specifically for the car. F1 is in the stone age on this.

    1. Pirelli should at least design tyres for midfield downforce levels. Not the top 3 teams downforce levels. Mercedes, Ferrari and Red bull would eat through their tyres as they are cornering too quickly etc. The midfield will be in the sweet spot. Williams will not be able to get the tyres to “switch on”.

  2. Not gonna lie, the Norris pit stop was hilarious to watch, especially the pit crew running towards the car later. But it was also a dangerous situation so I’m glad nobody was hurt.

    These pit crews make it look so easily and seamless and do it well so often that it is easy to forget that one small mistake can derail the whole performance or even hurt someone.

    One of the reasons why F1 is a team sport where everyone have to do their part well, even if it is a few seconds in a two hour race.

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