Lando Norris was a little fatalistic after the Spanish Grand Prix. British driver Lando Norris has made no secret of his frustration at McLaren after a lonely Spanish Grand Prix at the back of the field in an MCL60 that lacked pace.
Finishing seventeenth in the Spanish Grand Prix after starting from third place on Sunday, McLaren driver Lando Norris insisted that his race had gone “as planned”, believing that his MCL60 is not yet fast enough to challenge for the big points in the race.
Lando Norris qualified third on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix after a strong qualifying performance on Saturday, but right at the start of the race on Sunday, the British driver made contact with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and damaged his front wing, forcing him to pit at the end of the first lap to fit a new wing to his car and race from the back of the field for the rest of the afternoon.
When asked after the finish of the Spanish Grand Prix what he thought of his fatal contact with Hamilton at the start of the race, Norris dismissed it as a simple unfortunate incident and insisted that, even without that first-lap collision, he would never have finished in the top ten.
Norris: Race went as planned
“As expected, we knew we were going to be slow and that it would be difficult to get into the points,” said Lando Norris on Sunday evening in Barcelona.
Norris certainly doesn’t believe his car is capable of finishing in the top ten currently, now or during this entire 2023 F1 season.
“Our aim today was to try and get into the points, whether it was ninth or tenth place. But obviously everything went wrong on the first lap. At the same time, it would have been unlikely for us to finish in the top ten. I guess everyone’s expectations were a bit too high after yesterday [after his good qualifying].”
More of the same for Canada
“I tried to manage as much as I could, but at the same time, that’s the pace we’ve had all year, that’s the normal pace. Yesterday [Saturday] was a bit of a special day for us.”
Asked what he expects for the next race, which takes place on June 18 in Canada, Norris replied: “Nothing different. We’re probably the seventh fastest car or the eighth fastest car.”
“We’re not even fighting for points at this pace. So we’re just going to have to keep working hard and keep our heads down. It’s as simple as that.”
On the other side of the garage, Oscar Piastri – Lando Norris’ team-mate – crossed the finish line of this seventh round of the year out of the points in thirteenth place.
After this Spanish Grand Prix, McLaren still occupies sixth place in the world championship and is now 23 points behind Alpine.