Not Lando Norris! Ex-F1 Driver Hints McLaren’s Weatherman is to Blame for Sochi Debacle

Published 09/27/2021, 8:08 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 25, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during qualifying REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


The Russian Grand Prix was a roller coaster for McLaren’s Lando Norris. He started on pole after a spectacular qualifying lap on Saturday and was even leading the race in its closing stages. Unfortunately, as the horrid condition around Sochi worsened, Lando spun and lost the lead to Lewis Hamilton, who eventually won the race.

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One of the crucial points in the race was when McLaren asked Norris to pit for intermediates. However, the 21-year-old decided to stay out; a decision that cost him his first win in Formula One. F1 reporter and analyst, Karun Chandhok, dovedeep and explained what went wrong with the Woking-based outfit in Sochi.

When did things go downhill for McLaren and Lando Norris

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It is no surprise that McLaren are heartbroken after losing the race in the closing laps. However, according to Chandok, they could have claimed another victory this season if they had ordered Lando in the pits, instead of asking him.

The former F1 driver said, “That [Mercedes calling Lewis into the pits] should have been the cue for Mclaren to tell (not ask him) Norris to box just as Merc did with Lewis.

“It seems like Mclaren thought that the band of rain ended, but Merc realised that there was another heavier one, about 30 seconds behind it.”

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What did Norris say after the disappointing race in Sochi?

The McLaren driver had a weekend of highs and lows; he started on pole and was optimistic about getting his first win in F1. However, as the rain increased, Lando didn’t pit for a change of tires, which made him spin around the track and lose the lead.

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After the race, Lando said, “I don’t know where to start. Obviously unhappy, devastated in a way. I guess we made a call to stay out; we stand by that call but it was the wrong one at the end of the day.”

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga

“I made a decision just as much as the team. In fact it was more they thought I should box and I decided to stay out. So, my decision – I thought it was the way to go,” Norris concluded.

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With a week off, Lando will be hoping to bounce back in the upcoming race in Istanbul for the Turkish Grand Prix. What are your predictions for the McLaren driver? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

940 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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