Lando Norris, McLaren, Interlagos, 2019

Norris let Sainz past because he was “s*** slow”

2019 F1 season

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Lando Norris said he let his team mate overtake him during the Brazilian Grand Prix because his own pace was “shit slow”.

Norris made way for Carlos Sainz Jnr on lap 51 of the race. The team didn’t order the position switch, but before moving aside Norris asked his race engineer Will Joseph: “Am I fighting this position hard or not?”

“Not too hard on Carlos but we’re racing cars around us to the end,” he was told. Norris let Sainz through at turn one.

After the race Joseph thanked Norris for making way for Sainz, who went on to score the team’s first podium finish for five years.

“It’s a great result for the team,” said Joseph. “What you did with Carlos was massively helpful for Carlos’s result as well and noted from us all here.”

“I don’t do it out of choice, I do it because I’m shit slow,” Norris replied. “It’s not your fault, just think that I need to do better, that’s all.”

“You were not shit slow,” Joseph replied, “the hard was just a really tough tyre.”

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Norris was on the hard tyres, which Sainz didn’t use, when he let his team mate through. After the race, he said that was the reason for the pace difference between them

“Our biggest problem today was our second stint when we boxed onto the hard tyres,” said Norris. “I had two good laps even without pushing too much and then I was just slow.

“After that I didn’t know what was going on. The hard tyre just didn’t work well with the car and the conditions we had today so I dropped back a lot, I lost a lot of time and that just took me out of position for the final few stints when the chaos started.”

However Norris backed the team’s decision to try a one-stop strategy using the hard tyres.

“I’m happy that we made the decision because we thought we had a long way to go. We didn’t think mediums would last or they would start to go off a little bit towards the end.

“So we did what we thought was right but they just didn’t get in the right window, they didn’t work and I was just suffering overall with poor grip.”

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2019 F1 season

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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...
Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

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9 comments on “Norris let Sainz past because he was “s*** slow””

  1. The use of hard tyres didn’t pay off to any of the drivers that used them. Bad luck from him (and the other drivers)

  2. Respect to Norris, that’s a true team player move.

  3. I like this new bread of humble self-deprecating drivers..
    Norris, Leclerc and Albon spring to mind. I think it reflects a modern brand of sports psychology based on measured and objective critical thinking.

    1. Agreed. Norris, Leclerc, Albon but also Russell imho, are all down to earth guys and a real breath of fresh air compaired to the robotic drivers of 10-15 years ago.

      Perhaps that’s the one benefit of not having any top tier (consumer) brands paying top $ for F1 anymore (like Vodafone, HP, ING etc.). They can’t demand as much PR-wise.

    2. Leclerc is quite arrogant(for someone who claims to have sacrificed a lot in order to get here) and whiny compared to Albon, Russell and Norris who are far better at following team orders and sporting regulations.

      1. That’s likely only because he is in a far more prominant team, has more microphones poinmted at him, more questions asked and it’s much easier to be shown the worst bits

  4. Now this is a teammate.

    Meanwhile Vettel, let by the teammate and then steered in to him on the straight.

    1. Norris also has very good reaction, Leclerc almost crashed into him at the start.

    2. So what was Leclerc smoking when he swiped hard into Norris on lap 1? Had Norris kept his line it would have been far worse of a crash than Vettel-Leclerc crash.

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