Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Singapore, 2019

Sainz and Norris ‘within a tenth of a second of each other’ – Seidl

2019 F1 season

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McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz Jnr and Lando Norris are very close in performance despite the gap between them in the championship, says team principal Andreas Seidl.

With two races left to go, Sainz has nearly double the points of his rookie team mate. But Seidl said the pair, who will continue to drive for McLaren in the 2020 F1 season, are very closely matched in terms of performance.

“When we do the analysis of Lando and Carlos, for what they have done both so far this season for qualifying and for race pace, they’re both within a tenth [of a second],” he said. “So they both do a great job.

“Lando was simply unlucky now in a lot of races with technical issues. Or issues like he had in Suzuka with simply being unlucky with the brake duct being blocked and lost a lot of points due to that.”

Norris was running sixth at Suzuka when he picked up debris in his brake duct from Charles Leclerc’s damaged Ferrari, which forced him to make an early pit stop.

At the same time Norris came under attack from Alexander Albon. The pair made contact as Albon passed him at the chicane, and Norris went off the circuit.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2019
Norris changed his mind on Suzuka incident
Following the race Norris initially said his rival’s move had been fair, but changed his mind after reviewing video of the incident.

“As soon as I watched it back then it looked very different to how it felt,” said Norris. “He came from a very long way back. The angle he came into that corner was very acute for how he was going to make it into the corner. He ended up with two wheels on the Astro[turf] and there was contact.

“I was a bit annoyed with what was happening, the situation I was in with the brakes and everything. I wasn’t as annoyed maybe as what I should have been with what he did. If that happened again, I think I’d have a different opinion from what I said post-race in Japan.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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18 comments on “Sainz and Norris ‘within a tenth of a second of each other’ – Seidl”

  1. Yeah I think next year Norris will be better, this year his been very unlucky.

  2. That’s quite clear. Same happened in 2002 season: David Coulthard scored 41 points and Kimi in his 2n season in the sport and 1st in McLaren team hit 24 points. Next year may be much stronger for current rookie Lando, but don’t forget Carlos’ pace been brilliant this year.

    1. Either Sainz jr finally came good or Norris is a disappointment, Norris started quick but has faded away. Considering Sainz jr career, if you want to look good you must keep beating him and by some margin, remember Bottas massa, everyone kept saying Bottas should have anihilated him even more, and they are right.

    2. but don’t forget Carlos’ pace been brilliant this year.

      Well they are both equally fast. That’s exactly the point Seidl is making.

      Norris has had technical issues, poor strategy calls, Romain Grosjean’s etc. While Sainz hase had a pretty much trouble free season.

      1. First three races completely messed up due to technical issues and contacts (if it wasn’t for Verstappen in Bahrain, I believe Sainz had a shot for podium), engine problem at Spa, pitstop failure at Monza. Wouldn’t call that a trouble free season.

  3. I think they’ve both been excellent. McLaren should have a lot more points but they’ve had plenty of bad luck plus operational issues – not attaching wheels at pit stops, that kind of thing. Norris seems to have sorted his first-lap weakness and Sainz of late has really improved in qualifying so it bodes well for next year. I suspect McLaren will find themselves in no-mans-land between the top 3 and the rest, but I really hope they can give the top 3 a scare.

  4. Sainz has more racing nous.

    1. @david-beau, isn’t that what you’d expect though? Sainz Jr has now racked up 100 starts and is in his fifth year in the sport, so by now you would expect his development to be peaking and you would expect him to have more nous than a driver with only 19 starts under his belt.

  5. I thought Sainz had the upper hand recently, especially in quali.

    1. @tyngdekraft Only in the latter half of the season. The first half it was Norris who dominated quali. They are about equal over the whole season

  6. I find this one interesting to call. Sainz has clearly been better, but Norris has been very unlucky at times (Spa and Suzuka spring to mind as obvious ones).

    It’s interesting that (by most people) Norris appears to be judged to have had a better season than, say, Russell. Kubica is an unknown quantity in 2019, but Russell has torn him apart. By contrast, I’d say Norris has been well beaten by Sainz but seems to have his season rated more highly than Russell. Of course, the awful Williams and Kubica’s situation make it difficult to rate Russell, but I do think Norris’ first season has been somewhat overrated by some.

    1. @ben-n Only in the latter half of the season. The first half it was Norris who dominated quali. They are about equal over the whole season

    2. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
      7th November 2019, 19:12

      @ben-n I agree. They are both quite evenly matched and have had very impressive seasons. In the standings Sainz is a long way ahead, but that doesn’t tell the true story – I feel that Norris has been on the same level but has less points to show for it. Sainz has improved his Qualies in the second half of the season and is now consistently out-qualifying Norris, but it was the other way round in the first half of the year.

      In the very first few races Sainz had a lot of bad luck – retiring in Australia and then having damage early on in Bahrain when he was on for some good points (which Norris got instead). China they were both involved in an incident but Norris has had more than a fair share of bad luck; Canada and Monza come to mind. Not forgetting that he also lost multiple places on the last lap in Paul Richard and both he and Sainz have had 1 retirement due to a wheel-nut issue. This year I’d personally rank them very highly but would say Sainz has done a slightly better job. However I get the feeling that there is much more potential in Norris and I feel he is world championship material, whereas I don’t see that happening with Sainz.

      As for Williams, like you say, it’s really tricky to judge Russel. He can’t have done much better can he? Apart from that 1 race in Germany were points were actually possible and he had the wrong strategy. He has absolutely destroyed Kubica which is likely a combination of Russel’s brilliance and Kubica’s lack of speed since his return. I wonder how someone like Hamilton would’ve done in a Williams this year – would their performances have still gone by almost unnoticed? One thing I have noticed is that Kubica has often overtaken Russel on lap 1, which isn’t great for George, but he always catches back up and pulls away from him by a big margin in the remainder of the race.

  7. Lando unlucky in Canada as well. Brake issue turned into dnf. while running quite well.

  8. Spa, Suzuka, Montreal – I’m sure there’s others but there’s a good haul of points lost from technical difficulties

    1. Yeah, indeed there are many others. I’ve posted this before, but it’s such a depressing list when you actually see it in full:
      – Mexico: released from pits with loose wheel nut, eventually retired
      – Suzuka: debris into his brake ducts while in P6 + got hit by Albon, finished outside the points
      – Belgium: engine died on last lap while being in P5
      – Hungary: wheelgun malfunction kept him 14 seconds in the pits, lost 3 positions.
      – France: overtook on the outside of the track and then forced off-line by RIC – from P7 to P10 in the last lap
      – Germany: technical DNF
      – Canada: technical DNF
      – Spain: tangled with Stroll (deemed racing incident), DNF
      – China: got hit and was sent airborne by Kviat in the first lap, DNF.

      1. Wow yeah, he’s not had the best luck. I’m so excited by his prospects. His 1 lap pace is quick, his racecraft needs to improve a bit and he’ll be a very strong driver

  9. Well, bad memory here!!
    -Australia, Sainz yellow flag in qualy and engine failure.
    -Bahrain, MV hits Sainz when P5 in front of LN.
    -China DK hits Sainz and LN.
    -Baku, yellow flag qualy.
    -Austria, Sainz do not even push in qualy due to engine change.
    -Canada, Sainz plastic in brakes.
    -Spa, Sainz yellow flag qualy and engine failure in formation lap.
    -Monza, Sainz wheel nut when P6 in front of LN.
    -Singapore, Sainz got hit by Hulk when P7 in front of LN.
    LN has done fantastic but Sainz have been faster and outstanding, specially last qualys!! This words from Seidl is just for help the latest form from LN.

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