Lando Norris, McLaren, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

Hard to repeat “rare” combination of factors behind Vegas shunt – Norris

Formula 1

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Lando Norris blamed his huge Las Vegas Grand Prix crash on a variety of factors which combined at once.

The McLaren driver failed to finish a grand prix for the first time in 2023 last weekend after he lost control of his car through the fast turn 11 left-hand on the new street circuit and spun into the wall, skidding into the outside barrier.

Norris was taken to a local medical centre following the crash for precautionary checks but was soon released. Speaking to media including RaceFans in Yas Marina ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Norris blamed the accident immediately after the race resumed following a Virtual Safety Car on a “combination of things.”

“The obvious one being there is quite a big bump there,” he explained. “Then cool tyres, so therefore lower ride heights than what you’re normally running with.

“The first time following a lot of cars through all of this, there’s even less downforce than what you already have. And then a couple of other little things in the background that just made this bump have a bigger effect than what it normally has.

“I think somehow I must have caught it at a worse angle than normal. I always knew there was a bump there, but just for some reason, the effects of it on this one lap seemed a lot bigger than what it had done previously. So, just a little bit unlucky at the same time.”

Norris believes the causes of his accident were so specific that he likely could not induce a similar spin again at the same point on the Las Vegas circuit even if he tried to.

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“For all of those things to happen again and to cause this is quite rare,” he said. “Probably if I did everything, almost tried to drive everything the same now, it’s not a guarantee that it would happen again.

New podium, Yas Marina, 2023
Gallery: First pictures from the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
“If I was 30cm to the right or to the left, maybe it would be different. If there was one less car ahead of me, it would have been different. If I’d clipped the battery a little bit earlier, it would have been different. There’s so many different circumstances.”

After some drivers admitted to being unimpressed by the layout of the Las Vegas Strip Circuit prior to the race last weekend, Norris echoed the view of many of his rivals that the street circuit would benefit for improved natural grip levels.

“I think the track is okay – it’s not the best track I’ve ever driven,” he said.

“If it was just higher grip – I think the Tarmac made it a lot worse than what every driver would have wanted. It plays a big part in [the] racing, but the racing was pretty decent – I think almost because it was so tricky and difficult to drive.”

After Norris was taken to hospital for a short check-up following his crash, he insisted that he was never in much discomfort.

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“Honestly, I was never bad,” he said. “They just said they wanted to do a lot of check-ups and stuff, kind of the new norm nowadays, it seems. But I was fine.

“Obviously I was winded, probably you heard on the radio when I had the impact because I breathed in or breathed out at the wrong time and it just kind of caught me off-guard a little bit. It happened quite quickly. So still a decent impact. But I was fine. I never struggled with anything.

“I was more just frustrated that I was out of the race in Vegas so early on. So it was more just a shame. But I was fine.

“I’ve then been advised to just chill out and relax for a few days. But I was good since I pretty much jumped out of the car. A little shaken at first, just because it caught me by surprise so much, what happened, but then all good after that.”

Video: Fan footage of Norris’ crash in Las Vegas GP

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2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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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1 comments on “Hard to repeat “rare” combination of factors behind Vegas shunt – Norris”

  1. it’s obvious, but only now he’s said it, that behind another car they actually run a bit higher!

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