At Grand Prix of France, McLaren brilliantly executed its strategy to place its two drivers in fifth and sixth place, behind the cars of Red Bull and Mercedes. The best placed of the two pilots from Woking, Lando Norris, stopped at the pit much later than his opponents, which pushed him back to the bottom of the standings but allowed him to finish the Grand Prix with healthier tires.
A winning bet, since the performance gap between new and used tires was so important that the pilot McLaren gained six positions in six laps. However, this ascent was slightly delayed by Pierre Gasly. The French rider aggressively repelled a first attack on the 28th lap in the Beausset bend, as the two men failed to hang on and went off the track.
Very annoyed by his opponent’s muscular defense, Norris called Gasly a“idiot” in radio communication with its stand. Nonetheless, things calmed down once the finish line was crossed, and we got to see the two exchanging a few jokes together during the interviews. Now, on the sidelines of the Styrian Grand Prix, the McLaren driver considers the incident closed.
“After [la course], I was not too unhappy, I ended up in front [Gasly]”, says Norris. “So I was pretty happy actually. It’s more about the moment… a lot of people don’t realize it but you feel like things aren’t going the way you want them to, you are losing an opportunity to. overtake and you have the impression that someone almost caused damage to you by ripping off the front wing. “
“I think the level of aggression just wasn’t necessary, and I’m not afraid to race wheel to wheel with a few contacts. It’s fun, we almost grew up doing it in different categories. . But when someone goes a little too far and ends up off the track, then there’s no need to do that. But I have nothing against him. We joked then, in the interviews. So everything It’s going well between us, and yes, I can’t wait to fight with Pierre or anyone else on the track. But nothing to put us out of the race. “
Despite Lando Norris’ complaints, the race management did not consider it necessary to open an investigation during the race and quickly dismissed the incident. For his part, Pierre Gasly is not disturbed either by his maneuver or by Norris’ reaction. The French believe that all of this “is part of the race” and therefore does not regret his way of defending.
“You seemed to like this battle because you keep talking about it”, he jokes in a press conference. “For radio, I think we say a lot in the heat of the moment. It’s like football players. If people heard every word on the pitch, they wouldn’t find it so friendly. part of the race. It was really at the limit. [Norris] was on the outside, I had to pick up a lot of speed, I went a little wider than I expected. But I still think it was a great battle inside and out. I wasn’t going to give up my position like that, so if I had to do it again, I would probably do the same thing again. “
“If there is a problem, then I think it’s important to talk about it. But from my side, there is no problem. I don’t know why there is such a story surrounding this battle. , I think it was fun and intense. We always complain that there are no overtaking or fights in F1. So I think you have to be happy when there is finally. ‘There’s no hard feelings. Maybe Lando didn’t like it, but at the end of the day it’s racing, we get paid to go as fast as possible and try to score as many points as possible for our teams. C is what I try to do every weekend. “
With Oleg Karpov and Luke Smith