Norris doubts podium was possible despite pit stop “double blow”

2021 British Grand Prix

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Lando Norris talked down his chances of reaching the British Grand Prix podium on Sunday, but admits disappointment that he finished one position away from it after a slow pit stop.

Norris started fifth and gaining a position when Max Verstappen crashed out. He picked up another by passing Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas at the restart following the early red flag stoppage.

The McLaren driver ran third until his pit stop, which took over six seconds to complete due to a cross-threaded wheel nut. That cost him his place to Bottas, which he was unable to recover in his second stint.

“I’m not too happy to come out in that position,” Norris said. “But in the end, whether or not we could have hung onto third place is the question, because Mercedes were a lot quicker in the second stint and comparing to everyone, they somehow took a big step forward.

“I don’t know what we could have achieved, but at least here in Silverstone, in front of the fans I would have loved to just had a chance to fight. We did hold them off reasonably well in the first stint. And he never got even within DRS.

“So I would have had a chance, I reckon, and I had the motivation from everyone around to kind of go for it and push for it.

“I’m disappointed with fourth because of that. But then I’m also very happy with fourth because it’s fourth – better than we were thinking coming into this weekend. So I still feel very happy about a lot of things.”

Getting stuck behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso after hit pit stop on lap 21 of 52 was another contributing factor to Norris finishing the race 17 seconds behind Bottas.

“At that point, all I needed was an alright pit stop and I would have come out ahead of Bottas. And then the worst thing was I came up behind Fernando, which meant I couldn’t push on the first lap at all.

“I destroyed my tyres, which meant the whole stint was compromised, just from pushing so much on that first lap to try to gain something back. So it’s like a double loss that I had.”

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Author information

Elliot Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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6 comments on “Norris doubts podium was possible despite pit stop “double blow””

  1. Shame he didnt get on the podium. After that collision I thought well at least Lando has a shot now, but even Bottas could pass him. On to the next!

  2. It really was a shame that Bottas got past him this way. And that he got stuck behind Alonso for a while. Otherwise the race might have panned out quite differently.

    1. @bascb completely agree. I truly think that had Norris got a clean stop and rejoined ahead of Bottas, he would have held that place to the end.

      1. It depends on what Mercedes would have done with Bottas, had Norris had a normal pit stop. I think Mercedes would have likely extended his stint on the mediums, to have fresher tires available and a better chance to attack Norris.
        Given that even Ferrari were around 0.6 on average quicker on the hards, I doubt Norris would have been able to keep Bottas behind.

        1. Bottas managing the tyres for a long stint and then keeping Bottas back for a podium position is quite something different though than Hamilton managing his tyres and hunting down Leclerc for the race win though @srga91.

          I think that had Bottas extended his stint, he would have been of risk of dropping behind the likes of Ricciardo and Sainz and Alonso after his stop since he would have started to lose more and more time. And we all know Bottas is not the same level of Hamilton when chasing someone down. Also, without the time Leclerc lost due to his engine cutting out for a few laps two times during the race, even Hamilton wouldn’t have been able to catch up with Charles before the end of the race and would probably just have settled for gaining a solid 18 points on Verstappen from second place.

          1. @bascb
            How would Bottas come out behind Ricciardo, Sainz and Alonso?!
            Although Sainz was starting to lap quicker than Bottas, he was still 11.7 behind the Mercedes when Bottas made his stop on lap 22. Had Bottas extended for another 6 or 7 laps, he would’ve still been in P4, as Sainz still had to pit.
            Ricciardo was never a factor, because he was stuck in traffic behind Gasly after his pitstop and lapping in the high 1:32s (Bottas was doing around 1:32.4 before his stop). Plus he was already 10.5 behind Bottas before his stop, so no chance to get anywhere near him.
            And Alonso stopped on lap 24, was already 18.3 behind Bottas and lapping in the 1:33s after his stop. So, how would he end up in front of Bottas?!

            I also wonder what might have happened, had Charles not had those mapping issues on the engine. It would have been a lot harder for Hamilton to catch him, as he would have run out of laps.

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