“Strong” Norris drive could have earned fifth without pit stop misfortune – McLaren

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Andreas Seidl believes Lando Norris could have finished fifth in the Italian Grand Prix had it not been for a slow pit stop.

Norris recovered from a poor start to the race when he fell from third to sixth due to what Seidl called an “issue with the settings.” After running a long first stint, Norris was up to fourth before making his first pit stop.

The tyre change cost him an extra two seconds compared to his rivals and Norris returned to track in ninth. He quickly made his way up to seventh behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who Seidl said Norris was fighting for position with the strategy he was on.

“Once Lando was in free air, after all these cars pitted, after the bad start he had and being further back than anticipated, he actually had good pace on the medium [tyre],” said Seidl. “He could have kept going, even driving away from Fernando [Alonso], which then put him in a position to actually put the soft tyres on at the end.”

However there was no opportunity for Norris make use of the “bit of benefit” he gained by switching to fresh tyres due to the Safety Car period at the end of the race. This was caused by the retirement of his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who suffered what Seidl said looked like “an oil leak”.

That outcome “for us was very unfortunate because on Lando’s side we decided to pit for another set of tyres in order to have then another go on Checo or maybe even Lewis after the restart, because these two guys stayed out”.

The attempt to jump up two spots instead meant Norris lost one and finished seventh for the fifth time in the last six races. But Seidl thought it was one of his driver’s best performance of the year.

“It was a very strong race for both drivers today. On Lando’s side, unfortunately we had too many issues which were in the way of scoring an even better result. Because with a clean race it might have been even possible to score a P5 today with the penalties Lewis had, and Checo.”

Having gone into the weekend predicting they would be at a disadvantage to Alpine, Seidl said it “was encouraging to see” Norris overtake Alonso in the middle of the race on pace alone. “We expected a lot more problems in terms of pace with our car this weekend.”

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2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida 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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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6 comments on ““Strong” Norris drive could have earned fifth without pit stop misfortune – McLaren”

  1. While it looked somewhat anonymous and out there on his own, the few times we got to see Norris after the start, it was really nice.

    Shame about the issues at the start, without that he would have had an easier time mixing it with the top guys, although I doubt he would have had the pace to really fight with Hamilton, Perez did not look like he had the pace to catch Norris.

  2. I disagree this was a strong drive from Norris, he had a bad start then missed the first 2 corners a bit later in the race after making a mistake. Ricciardo looked the better of the two this time out, and to help norris recover from his own errors, ricciardo was actually told to slow down and hold back the drivers behind him so norris could pit clear of them and ahead of ricciardo. Only reason this seemed somewhat decent to do is because of Norris’s position in the standings compared to his team mate. But I think it was a pretty poor drive from him by his usual standards and a good weekend for once from ricciardo. He deservered to finish ahead this time.

    1. I agree. I thought it wasn’t his best and it was definitely a better performance from DR.

      Mclaren do seem to be having a lot of poor pit stops though and have pretty consistently made Dan’s in particular races worse.

    2. Certainly looked a much better tyre strategy for Lando even though I saw Ric doing well on the hards on Friday. I didn’t realise he was following team orders to back the DRS train up – to his credit I suppose, not many could stay that compliant.

  3. True he had a bad start, but he recovered pretty quickly and indeed looked set to end up ahead of hamilton without the slow pit stop issue.

    1. Ricciardo was ok compared to his other 2022 races but pretty meh, even so a shame he had an issue that prevented him from scoring points for once he was about to.

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