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McLaren to investigate Norris phantom steering problem

McLaren to investigate Norris phantom steering problem

F1 News

McLaren to investigate Norris phantom steering problem

McLaren to investigate Norris phantom steering problem

McLaren is investigating an on-off steering problem suffered by Lando Norris that manifested on lap one of Sunday's Russian Grand Prix after he ran over debris from team-mate Carlos Sainz's stricken car.

Norris started the race at the Sochi Autodrom from eighth on the grid, only for it to be severely compromised after only two corners.

In a self-confessed "misjudgement", Sainz took the penalty chicane at turn two too quickly and made contact with the wall, spreading debris across the circuit.

Approaching from behind, Norris was forced to significantly slow, dropping him to the rear of the field. After driving through the debris, his car developed an obscure and inconsistent steering problem.

"I had a good start and a good run down to turn two," said Norris. "I got past a few and I had to try to avoid some of the people who overshot into turn two completely.

"I risked everyone else’s races in some ways, but then I still got damage from all of the debris and it hit something on the car and damaged it in some way.

“I don’t know what happened with that. That is something we’ll have to investigate, that steering feeling.

“I think that was the biggest difficulty of all of it, trying to get used to that because as soon as you lack a bit of feeling in this kind of car it is very difficult to drive.

"My judgement every lap was changing because sometimes it would almost fix itself and be better and I could get some confidence, but I’d push into the next one and it would completely go."

Despite his difficulties, the decision to pit for fresh tyres behind the safety car at the end of the first lap proved to be an inspired move as it catapulted him back into points contention due to others pitting later under green-flag conditions.

With severely worn tyres later in the race, however, Norris dropped out of the top 10 in the closing laps, pitting for fresh rubber after Alex Albon wrenched away the final points-paying position for Red Bull.

“I’m happy with how we did from where we were and the positions we got put into from out of our control, but I guess not enough in the end with the lockup and pushing too hard to keep Alex behind," explained Norris.

“It was what I had to do. I was coming up against a Red Bull which was on much fresher tyres and I had some problems so I think I can still be happy with how we did as a team, just frustrated that it could have been a lot more.”

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