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"Devastated" Norris stands by decision despite Sochi "heartbreak"

"Devastated" Norris stands by decision despite Sochi "heartbreak"

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"Devastated" Norris stands by decision despite Sochi "heartbreak"

"Devastated" Norris stands by decision despite Sochi "heartbreak"

A "devastated" Lando Norris has stood by his decision to stay out on a wet track with slicks despite seeing victory in the Russian Grand Prix gut-wrenchingly slip away in the final three laps.

Norris had controlled the race after making his way past Carlos Sainz's Ferrari early on, with Lewis Hamilton charging in the final stages.

With the Mercedes within a second, Norris was able to pull away before the rain fell at turn five and through the middle sector. Both drivers initially declined their team's calls to box for intermediates before Hamilton made the jump.

As Norris arrived at turn five the next time around, it was clear the call to stay out was incorrect and his first win in F1 disappeared.

"I don't know where to start...unhappy, devastated in a way," Norris told Sky Sports F1.

"We made a call to stay out and we stand by that call. Obviously, it was the wrong call at the end of the day.

"I made the decision just as much as the team, in fact, it was more that they thought I should box and I decided to stay out. It was my decision, I thought it was the way to go."

On whether the weekend as a whole would give him confidence going forward after taking his first pole position, Norris said: "Yeah it does, it doesn't change too much.

"I think I had the confidence beforehand that I was capable of doing it, I have felt capable of doing it for a while.

"Just a bit of heartbreak. I feel like I did everything I could, even when it got tricky at the end, I had a couple of mistakes but I still kept Lewis behind and started to pull away a little bit.

"A bit of luck, like the laps I was out before Lewis boxed, it was perfectly fine for the tyres I was on. I was told the rain was going to stay the same amount. If it was the same amount, we had the right decision.

"I think staying out was the correct decision but then obviously it got a lot wetter than we as a team expected."

Norris "happy" with decision

The decision to stay out led to Norris' fall down the order and promoted McLaren's rivals in the race for third in the constructors' standings Ferrari to a podium through Sainz.

Reassured that the decision on whether to stop was difficult, Norris added: "Especially when there are two laps to go. With 20 to go, you are not as aggressive with decisions.

"We did what we thought was right which I am happy with. It was wrong at the end of the day.

"The guys did an excellent job and have done all weekend. I am happy with everything apart from that one decision which we will review and try not to make again."

What do you think?
Symanski

At least he's taking responsibility. Never an easy call, and he's the one in the team who can see the track best.

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Symanski
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Symanski

At least he's taking responsibility. Never an easy call, and he's the one in the team who can see the track best.

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random person
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Mar 2020
random person

I'm not sure that's true Symanski. All the cameras all over the circuit and they can just about see every inch. The driver on the other hand, he can only see the bit he's on, and maybe 100 metres ahead. So if the pit call him in you can bet they know more than he does. Even lewis Hamilton was overruled by his team and he went in. Yes it was Lando's call and he has to own it. Its just it was the wrong call and cost him dearly.

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Guff
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Sep 2021
Guff

As a McLaren fan, this one hurt as much as any race i can remember. I'm proud of Lando for owning his mistake, and if you can think about this positively, this is a mistake I doubt he'll make again. This is the thin line you walk with young star drivers. Lando, George, Pierre, etc. have the ability to put up mind-blowing times, but are all capable of equally mind-blowing mistakes. This is a great sign of progress for McLaren, and once the clouds part, they'll realize what an INCREDIBLE two races it's been.

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