McLaren's Lando Norris is seen before the Russian Grand Prix. Photo: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters
McLaren's Lando Norris is seen before the Russian Grand Prix. Photo: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

McLaren's Lando Norris 'devastated' at maiden F1 win that got away

By AFP Time of article published Sep 26, 2021

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As Lewis Hamilton celebrated his 100th win, McLaren's Lando Norris was left "devastated" at missing out on his maiden Grand Prix success at sodden Sochi.

The young Briton was in command of Sunday's Russian Grand Prix with only a handful of laps to go, when the heavens opened.

With the circuit suddenly transformed into an ice rink for cars on slick tyres Hamilton pitted for intermediates.

Norris though elected to go against advice coming from the McLaren garage to do the same, preferring to hold onto his hard-earned lead.

It was a decision he was left to rue as his car lost its grip, with Hamilton forging to the front and Norris eventually having to settle for seventh.

"I don't know where to start," said the emotional driver.

"Obviously unhappy, devastated in a way.

"I guess we made a call to stay out; we stand by that call but it was the wrong one at the end of the day."

He continued: "I made a decision just as much as the team. In fact it was more they thought I should box and I decided to stay out.

"So, my decision – I thought it was the way to go."

Fresh from the McLaren 1-2 behind Daniel Ricciardo at Monza, and his first ever pole this weekend, Norris was gunning for the win that he feels has been coming all season.

"I knew I was capable of doing it, I've felt capable of doing it for a while so I don't think that's really changed. Just a bit of heartbreak. I felt like I did everything I could, even when it got tricky at the end.

"I made a couple of mistakes but still kept Lewis behind and started to pull away a little bit.

"I could have won the race and I didn't so I'm never going to be happy like this."

There was a touching moment when, with Hamilton in the middle of a TV interview, Norris came up to congratulate the century maker, receiving a warm embrace from the seven-time world champion in return.

"Lando did such an amazing job, he had incredible pace," said Hamilton.

AFP

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