Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2024

Norris admits poor start cost him Spanish Grand Prix he ‘should have won’

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

Lando Norris believes he lost the Spanish Grand Prix by making a poor start which allowed Max Verstappen and George Russell to overtake him.

The McLaren driver started from pole position but fell to third after being passed by his rivals on the run to turn one.

Although he was able to recover to second behind Verstappen and finish within a couple of seconds of the winner, Norris insisted he was capable of winning this race.

“Not ‘could’ – ‘should’ have [won],” Norris said. “I got a bad start. Simple as that.

“The car was incredible today. I think we were for sure the quickest. I just lost it in the beginning, so I’m disappointed.

“[There’s] a lot of positives, one negative and that kind of ruined everything. I know that I can just work on it for next time, but apart from that, a good amount of points. A big thanks to the team, because the car was amazing.”

Although Norris appeared to have held off Verstappen along the run to the braking zone at the start, he believes the momentum that Russell was able to get behind the pair of them to sweep around the outside into the lead was what ultimately cost him.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“There’s only a little bit to Max that I lost,” he explained. “It wasn’t like he was completely alongside.

“It was more that George was on the outside and kind of had me over. So fair play, well done to Red Bull and Max. Another job done for them, but a shame that we lost it at the same time. A bit frustrating, but we’ll work on it for next time.”

Verstappen complained Norris put him on the grass at the start, but the stewards decided no investigation was necessary.

Heading into the next two rounds of the triple-header at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, Norris is optimistic about having further opportunities to challenge for victories.

“Austria and Silverstone are two of my favourite tracks, in terms of performances and where I’ve performed well at,” he said. “So I’m excited.

“We’re on a good roll, we’re doing well. I need to just tidy up a few little bits and we’ll be on top.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2024 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2024 Spanish Grand Prix articles

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

8 comments on “Norris admits poor start cost him Spanish Grand Prix he ‘should have won’”

  1. I felt he was too greedy to focus on Verstappen since his start was already poor, which meant other cars were likely to be close to him by turn 1. He should have just accepted losing the position to Verstappen but not to Russell.

    1. @krichelle
      If he felt he could hold up Verstappen at the cost of letting Russell through.. vs holding off Russell but let Verstappen through.. I guess him beating Russell in the race shows he was thinking of the right choice. Except he lost out to both of them.. still. Can’t predict everything

      1. Exactly, even during the race on team radio he passed an opportunity to overcut russell and focused his race on verstappen, seemed like the right choice, merc was eventually lacking something in race pace compared to the leading 2 cars.

      2. +1

        Moreover, there’s always a good chance George is going to put himself out of the race anyway.

  2. if he pitted when he was informed, he wouldnt need to deal with ham and russel which ultimately killed his tires more than he needed! when they let norris choose strategy, more than not, he makes the worse calls. if they dont understand this, they ll give away more wins!

  3. One day i expect norris to get tired of losing to Max and racing him harder and better.

    Its easier to manage when you have a 9 sec gap to work with, which Norris handed him twice by going longer.

  4. I disagree. I think it could have been won if they used a better strategy. It feels like McLaren’s strategy is too much based on anticipation, rather than their own strategy plan before the start of the race. Plus they keep making the same mistakes like they did in Sochi 2021. The engineer shouldn’t present dilemma’s to a driver, he should present the best strategy. I’m positive that if Norris had covered Russell at the first pitstop, he would have stayed ahead of him and would have had a much better shot at Verstappen.

    1. It’s kind of hard (and pointless) not to be reactive when the other team is ahead. Being behind usually gives you a bit more of a chance to use initiative as long as you’re within 3-4 seconds max.

Comments are closed.