Norris-McLaren Exchange At Silverstone Labeled 'Slightly Unfair' By Brundle

Thursday, 11 July 2024 at 11:21
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Former F1 driver Martin Brundle thought McLaren's approach to deciding on Lando Norris's strategy during the 2024 British Grand Prix was "slightly unfair."
McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris finished the 12th round of the 2024 season at Silverstone Circuit in P3 (behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton) after starting from the same position.
While he might have celebrated P3 two years ago, things have changed now, and Norris knew he had a car capable of winning the race. At one point, he even led the Grand Prix.
This hasn't happened for the first time. The McLaren driver could have won any of the last four races. Being aware of that, he was very disappointed when speaking to the media after the race.
But what exactly went wrong? McLaren team principal Andrea Stella pointed to the wrong tire choice for the final stint, which was made before the second pit stop.
When Norris went to the pit for the slick compound tires, they already knew Hamilton was on soft, and Verstappen was on hard compound tires.
The message that the 24-year-old received from his engineer was a question asking whether he would like to "cover off" Hamilton (who was then leading the race) with the soft compound or Verstappen with the medium compound.
Norris chose to cover off Hamilton with the soft compound, which ultimately turned out to be the wrong choice, costing him everything.
Discussing McLaren's strategy on the Sky Sports F1 podcast, former F1 driver Martin Brundle suggested it was unfair for the British team to ask their driver about the tire compound choice.

"I think it was slightly unfair, or surprising, for them to ask Lando. I think it's a measure of where they're at. I think the choice clearly was, 'Look, we're going to put the best possible tire on, and that's a brand new medium compound.'"

"It's almost like it was a defensive decision, whereas the mindset should have been 'let's go for what we know is going to be the fastest, and we'll make it work."