Lando Norris of McLaren conceded that the team’s decision-making strategies played a significant role, particularly choosing not to switch to slick tyres at the start of the race. However, he emphasized the inferiority of the MCL60’s competitiveness in the race compared to its qualifying round. Assessing McLaren‘s performance relative to Aston Martin and Mercedes, he described it as “terrible.”
“There are moments when it falls to pace and then there are times when it’s all about strategy. It’s clear that our strategy was off today,” Norris stated. He admitted that while their speed was satisfactory, it certainly wasn’t up to par when matched against the likes of Aston Martin and Mercedes. This significant difference in their performance was evident when comparing the pace shown in qualifying and during the actual race.
Norris expressed his resolve to continue improvements, “We’re doing everything we can to rectify it and make progress, but currently, it’s markedly inadequate.”
Norris was firm in his belief that the wrong decision was made by McLaren when deciding not to bring him in for an intermediate tyre change as the rain began falling at the race’s start. While other drivers switched tyres during the first two laps, he remained on the track until the third lap, and subsequently, dropped to 12th position.
“We clearly made an erroneous judgment, a poor decision,” Norris conceded when questioned about this by F1 Initiative. He stressed the necessity of reassessing and addressing these missteps that have resulted in the loss of potential points throughout the season. He did point out their successful decision to pit when the rain returned, resulting in a time gain and overtaking George Russell.
On the frozen victory chance at the wet Russian GP in 2021 owing to a late tyre change, Norris said, “The situation varies. Of course, we’ve made profitable decisions several times but it’s the failing ones that linger on.”
Norris also reported a close call incident with Mercedes driver Russell but felt no remorse and considered it a part of intense racing.
“So much effort has gone into developing the car we have now, which was clearly the apt choice,” Norris said. “However, this has left us trailing in some aspects. But I’d take the 80% turn of good races coupled with a 20% bad, than the other way round.” He also recognized the less plausible help from uncertain weather conditions and mentioned “straights are our weakness at the minute.”