McLaren Team Principal With Heart-Warming Message, Takes Responsibility For Norris's Mistake

Saturday, 20 April 2024 at 19:30
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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella responded to Lando Norris' Sprint Race lap one incident, in which the 24-year-old fell from P1 to P7.
Something that doesn't get talked about enough is how Lando Norris destroyed all the competition in the wet conditions during the Sprint Shootout on Friday when he put more than 1.2 seconds between him and the second fastest Lewis Hamilton.
The incredible performance meant he would start the Sprint Race from pole. Unfortunately, the Papya driver wasn't able to make the most of this opportunity.
The seven-time World Champion had a much better start and got alongside and a bit ahead of Norris going into the very long right-hander turn number one.
Instead of accepting his defeat and slotting behind Hamilton, Norris tried to hang on to his position around the outside. He eventually ran out of dry line and went off the track due to a lack of grip.
He then lost six positions before he could rejoin the track in P7. The young Briton wasn't able to make much progress after that and only gained one position as a result of Fernando Alonso's retirement.
Speaking on the team radio after the race, Norris apologized to his whole team for the mistake on the opening lap of the race. Andrea Stella reacted to his words, as he told Sky Sports:

"Certainly, he doesn't need to apologize because we need his apologies [for the car]. He knows he could have done better, but we appreciate the maximum effort. We work as a team, and also, I think this just gives a sense of the kind of person he is."

"I'm sure he feels like, 'I disappointed the team.' Don't worry, Lando. You haven't disappointed the team. We need to give you a better car, and then all things will become much easier rather than always being on the limit to bring home some important results. So it's more up to us and the many women at McLaren are working hard to improve the car."