Lando Norris, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

McLaren confident of points haul as Norris is cleared to race

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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McLaren believe they will still be able to fight for a strong points finish in tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix despite Lando Norris’ huge crash in Q3.

Norris looked on course to challenge for pole position after topping the first two parts of qualifying. He was taken to hospital for an X-ray after the crash, but was subsequently declared fit to compete in tomorrow’s race.

His crash left the car heavily damaged and the team facing an extensive repair job ahead of the grand prix. Having failed to set a time, Norris would line up in 10th place, but the likely parts changes for repairs will mean grid penalties, which could see him starting at the back or in the pits.

Nonetheless, with team mate Daniel Ricciardo achieving his best starting position for McLaren to date with fourth place, team principal Andreas Seidl believes they can still enjoy a productive race.

“The most important thing is that Lando is fine,” said Seidl. “But it’s great to see Daniel finished in P4 today. And with Daniel starting P4 and Lando most likely starting from the back – we need to see what the consequences are – I still think we’re in a good position tomorrow to fight for good points.”

Seidl refrained from criticised FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi over the decision to continue Q3 after Norris and other drivers such as Sebastian Vettel warned the track was too wet and cars were aquaplaning.

“I think it would be completely wrong now to point fingers on anyone,” said Seidl. “It’s difficult conditions. We lost the car, so we just have to move on.”

“It was obvious that it was tricky to drive,” he added. “Drivers were reporting aquaplaning, but in the end Lando was on top form, there was a chance to finish quite high up today, and we went for it.

“Sometimes you have to accept it can end up like this. The most important thing is he’s fine.”

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2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “McLaren confident of points haul as Norris is cleared to race”

  1. I reckon a gearbox change at least, if not also monocoque. Even PU allocation exceeding for engine, MGUs, & TC is possible as he had taken his 3rd & final allocated copies unless he re-uses the 2nd ones.

  2. If Lando starts from the back or pit lane, then he’s odds on for the driver of the day vote.

  3. If it’s dry tomorrow, McLaren should pull the car out of parc ferme, start from the pitlane and go for a very low downforce setup, to make the overtaking as easy as possible for Lando.
    McLaren should have the 3rd fastest car in the dry, so under normal circumstances (RB & Mercedes having a ‘normal’ race) something around P7 or P8 should be achievable for Lando.
    If it’s wet, anything is possible for Lando. Even a podium.

  4. Not sure why Ric is getting excited about finishing 4th as the conditions made things a lottery. As a Ric fan though hopefully he can convert the start into some points.

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