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McLaren 'not seeing hard rain' cost maiden F1 win - Norris

McLaren 'not seeing hard rain' cost maiden F1 win - Norris

F1 News

McLaren 'not seeing hard rain' cost maiden F1 win - Norris

McLaren 'not seeing hard rain' cost maiden F1 win - Norris

Lando Norris has insisted he did not take a "risk" with the decision to stay on slicks as rain fell that ultimately cost him a maiden F1 victory.

The McLaren driver was fending off the challenge of Lewis Hamilton and even pulling away at one stage as rain hit the middle sector of the Sochi Autodrom with five laps remaining of the Russian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver bailed to the pits for intermediates as Norris continued on but was met with a significantly wetter surface on the next lap, effectively ending his chances of success.

"The thing is, we weren't hanging on before the pit stop, before Lewis boxed, the slick tyre was the one to be on," Norris told Sky Sports F1.

"For the middle sector, the intermediate would have been quicker but sector one and sector three, the slick tyre was by far the best to be on.

"At that point in time and from what the team was telling me, I made the right decision.

"They didn't tell me it was going to be raining a heck of a lot more and that the slick tyre wasn't going to be the one to be on.

"At that point, for some reason, it was not a risk, we were making the correct decision. Not seeing the rain or not seeing it was going to get a lot harder was the thing that caught us out and that is why we lost it."

Conditions "almost impossible" on slicks - Norris

The race-winning moment came as Norris slid off the track at turn five, allowing Hamilton through on the more favourable intermediate tyres.

Norris' woes continued as he almost missed the pits as he skidded straight-on on the slippery surface, earning himself a reprimand for crossing the white line.

"It is almost impossible when it is completely wet like that," he explained.

"The tricky thing is that there were four or five laps where it was drizzling and we were making mistakes, both Lewis and myself.

"We were both going a little bit off track here and there, but half the track was still completely dry so the slick tyre was still completely fine.

"It was just a very difficult position to be in the end. You are the lead car, you have a guy pressuring you and you can't afford to just do nothing."

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