Turn 16 of the Hockenheim circuit was quite a tricky corner and a number of drivers found out the hard way. In the wet conditions, it became far more treacherous, and McLaren driver Lando Norris was one of the first victims, though he fortunately lived to tell the tale. In fact, Norris’ incident took place before the race while heading to the grid. As it turned out, Lando Norris ran onto the ‘drag strip’ which would later claim several drivers as they spun or crashed during the race.
Speaking about the hairy moment, Lando Norris confessed, “The only thing that was stupid which led to a lot of the crashes was the drag strip. I, luckily, did it on my laps to the grid.”
We had an onboard that we had to watch, that one magic lap from Fernando [Alonso]when he was with Ferrari. And he goes two wheels over the kerb onto the drag strip and everything looks fine.”
He continued, “So I did my lap-to-grid, I tried it, and I genuinely thought I was going to be out of the race before it had even started. I put the clutch in, full opposite lock, I’m not exaggerating, I shat myself. I was like ‘oh shoot, this is not going to be good’. Because all the guys were waiting there to put me up on the jacks in my position, and I had the biggest fright of my life.”
“So from my side I knew that straight away, obviously I’m not going to tell anyone because I’ll let them try it out. But every person that made a small mistake, just lost the rear or under-steered a bit into the last two corners, went onto the drag strip and you just see the fricking… it’s like you accelerate, nothing you can do.”
It’s probably quite dangerous to be honest because you don’t slow down on the Tarmac run-off there. Approaching at a decent speed, as soon as you hit it you can’t do anything. There’s no point braking, even. That’s something I think needs to be changed for next time.