Norris Reflects On 'Gamble' He Made In Jeddah That Didn't Pay Off

Sunday, 10 March 2024 at 21:00
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Lando Norris found himself in the situation during the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where he had to take a gamble if he wanted to score big, but it didn't pay off in the end.
The British McLaren F1 driver started the race around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit from P6 on the grid, alongside his teammate Oscar Piastri in P5 and behind Fernando Alonso in P4.
The 24-year-old managed to keep his position through a couple of opening laps, but on lap 7, Lance Stroll crashed in corner number 22, triggering the safety car.
At that point, Norris had the option to go for the safe bet and make his one-stop just like most of the cars on the grid or stay out and hope for another safety car or Red flag, which would allow him to pit later and give him an advantage. He said after the race:

"We took a bit of a gamble to try and go long on the mediums and hope there was a Safety Car or something but it never came."

Norris found himself in P1 briefly after not pitting under the safety car, but he gradually lost positions to Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, and Charles Leclerc.
Moreover, he had to pit later without the safety car, which cost him four additional positions. In the end, he crossed the finish line in P8.

"We gave it a good shot, we could have just boxed in the beginning with everyone else but I thought we’d try something a little bit different, could have worked, it didn’t, that’s how it is sometimes."

The race obviously didn't go how the 24-year-old would have wanted, but he counted on the possibility of losing out due to his gamble. Ha also wasn't the only one. Lewis Hamilton went for the same strategy and finished behind him in P9. Norris added:

"I’m happy, the performance of the car was good, in the end, yes I think we missed out on a couple of points on my side, but we did what we could with the strategy we chose to do so I’m happy with that."