Norris feeling ‘stupid and silly’ after sprint loss

Lando Norris says he was “stupid and silly” allowing Max Verstappen a chance to regain the lead from him in the Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix as he dropped to third place.

Verstappen led from pole but was under pressure in the early laps on Saturday, and Norris overtook the Red Bull into Turn 3 to take the lead. However, Verstappen got him back down the inside into Turn 4 in a move that allowed Oscar Piastri to follow Verstappen through and take second place, with the positions remaining unchanged until the finish.

“It was a good battle,” Norris said. “I knew there were not going to be too many opportunities to try and do it, so I had to go for a bit of a move into Turn 3, and then I was just pretty stupid into Turn 4 and left the door open. So not a lot to be honest, was two corners we battled, and that was it and then Oscar managed to come past.


“So I tried, obviously it didn’t go to plan, but the pace in the car was pretty good and I think we gave it a good shot but it wasn’t quite enough today. It was nice to have two cars up there, nice to have two cars trying to fight against Max, and that’s what we need on Sunday.

“We’re saying this every weekend now so I’m not going to say it again … but I needed to do a better job and I just did something pretty stupid and silly which was not very smart of me. But no, I think a good amount of points, it could have been a lot worse and for the team it was still a good result and the result we wanted, so I’m happy, but I need to do things better.”

Norris believes McLaren needs to find a little bit more performance ahead of qualifying to try and beat Verstappen to pole later on Saturday and change the picture heading into the race, but says he’ll also try and learn from his own driving for future battles too.

“Not much. It’s tiny, tiny things. I think as a race car we’re still missing a tiny bit but that’s not my excuse. For today I think nothing more than Turn 4, I think if I just defended and didn’t leave the door open a different story would have happened. That might have been just one corner and Max would probably have attacked me again the next lap. I don’t know, there’s nothing in particular.

“I mean, I’m not feeling great, and it’s still those little opportunities I just feel like I miss out on and in hindsight I think ‘how stupid was I to do some of the things that I’ve done?’ but at the same time I’m doing the best I can when I’m on the track.

“So I don’t necessarily think about what people are thinking from the outside, I know I’ve done things that are not good enough and things that aren’t at the level that they need to be, and I’m doing my best to improve on them. That’s all I can do for now.”

Norris was audibly not at full health and coughed on a number of occasions when speaking after the Sprint, but says he’s not unwell enough for it to notably impact his performance.

“I can’t say how much it’s affecting me. It’s not helping, that’s probably the main thing, but I wouldn’t say anything that’s changing my performance on track. It’s not to that level. So just talking, so stop asking me stuff and I’ll be happy! Nothing that’s affecting me I don’t think, but small things away from the track and just being tired and not sleeping good and that kind of stuff. So I’m sure a little bit, but nothing that I would use as an excuse to help me on track.”

Story originally appeared on Racer