Lando Norris says McLaren scuppered their chances for the Dutch Grand Prix by leaving him out too long on a Zandvoort track which was only getting wetter.
Norris launched from P2 alongside polesitter and home hero Max Verstappen, but plans of repeating his trick from Silverstone and jumping F1’s dominant driver at the start quickly came undone thanks to the weather.
Initially drivers tried to withstand a heavy downpour on the slick tyres, a plan soon abandoned by the majority of the grid, though McLaren with Norris tried to tough it out in hope of the track soon drying.
Lando Norris rues McLaren strategy error
Once the flurry of tyre changes were complete to react to the track which was soaked and did then dry, Norris found himself going from competing for a podium spot to just hoping for points, ultimately achieving that with a P7 finish.
Asked by Sky F1 after the race how satisfied he was with the result, Norris replied: “Not too satisfied. The second half of the race was good, I think we did everything we could, we undercut a few cars and we had a relatively decent race.
“But we just lost everything in the beginning with the decision to stay out on the slicks when it was too wet. We just lost a lot more than we ever should have done.
“So that was pretty much, not game over, but just that threw everything away that we worked hard for yesterday, so a bit frustrating from that side.
“But we fought back well, just we didn’t have the best of race cars today, it was too tricky in dirty air.
“We struggled too much in the middle sector and therefore we couldn’t fight, I couldn’t get past [Yuki] Tsunoda and like [Lewis] Hamilton could just do one lap and get past everyone.
“So plenty of things to work on, but like we said our weaknesses yesterday carried over a lot to today and things to work on from our side.”
Asked if he wanted to come in when the track was becoming increasingly wet, Norris replied: “It was just different information and nothing was just clear enough, something for us to review let’s say.
“After the first lap when I was second and I got overtaken so easily by Perez, I was surprised we stayed out in the first place.”
Lando Norris “feels bad” for George Russell after race-ending incident
Norris’ troubles for the race were not quite over as in the latter stages, seemingly minor contact with Russell left the Mercedes driver with a puncture, severe enough to put him out of the race.
And Norris was sorry to see that happen to his compatriot after a “well-fought battle”.
“It was a good battle, unfortunate for him, obviously I’d never want something like that to happen,” said Norris.
“It was a good battle, he got past me and I got past him. I mean, it’s a puncture, there’s nothing I can do about it, it’s just floors are so sharp, things are so sharp that it can happen so quickly, so easily.
“But it was a well-fought battle, he gave me some space and I stayed on the outside. I feel bad for him. But the racing was racing.”
McLaren did at least see both of their drivers score points, with Oscar Piastri delivering a P9 finish.
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