“I got pretty worried”– Lando Norris lost confidence in the car after he made his first stop and took the hard compound tyres.
Lando Norris had a glorious Sunday with his podium finish to the Monaco Grand Prix, but the Briton reached after fighting off Sergio Perez for most of the race.
Norris reveals that he was flying high in the earlier part of the race and even appeared to compete against Carlos Sainz, who was setting his eyes on the win.
“The first stint, we were pretty competitive,” Norris said post-race. “Pretty similar on pace to what Carlos [Sainz] was doing – and Bottas and Max.
“Maybe Max was slightly ahead – but I could see on the TV screens when I was going past what lap times Max was doing in the lead and I wasn’t that far behind. I was like, ‘OK, this is going well’.”
Pitstop turned it opposite.
Flying high with confidence, it all came down for Norris when he made his pitstop and shifted to the hard compound tyres, which made the car handling tough, yet Norris persevered.
“As soon as we put the hard tyre on, it turned to the opposite,” said Norris. “It was a tough car to drive. Much easier to lock up and snatch the front, worse over the bumps and so on. Not a lot of confidence.
Perez made a pitstop five laps after Norris, which allowed him to reduce the gap by 0.6 seconds due to the fresher tyres. However, the Mexican was denied any space by the track’s narrow lanes and perfect exit on the corners by the Briton.
“As soon as I heard where Sergio was in terms of his tyre strategy, how much later he boxed, I got pretty worried but I kept it on the black stuff, which is the most important.”