Lando Norris insists he had no problem giving up points to team-mate Carlos Sainz despite losing a position due to a late pit stop in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The rookie had started ahead of Sainz after the Spaniard was hampered by yellow flags during qualifying in Baku, and led his team-mate early in the race before they swapped positions. Norris was back ahead after the pit stops and put pressure on Perez throughout before pitting during a Virtual Safety Car period and ending up eighth behind Sainz, but says he was comfortable trying something different.
“I’m happy,” Norris said. “As a team we didn’t win or lose points from where we were before the stop. We just wanted something to see if we could have a bigger advantage over Checo to get ahead, as we didn’t have the straight-line speed to pass him. It wasn’t a win or a loss in the end, just swapped positions, basically. I’m happy with seventh and eighth, good points for the team.
“I boxed to overtake so if (Perez) boxed I wouldn’t have boxed, and vice versa. I could have easily said ‘No I don’t think you’re right’, or stayed out, but it was just a chance to do something different. It’s just something we tried, I believed in their decision, I agreed with it, boxed, so I’m fine with the decision. It was a team decision. It just didn’t work out how I wanted it to.”
Both McLaren drivers finishing in the top eight in Azerbaijan after having struggled at the previous race in China, but Norris says the team still has plenty of work to do despite moving up to fourth in the constructors’ championship.
“We know what the problems are,” he said. “We know that kind of track, China, is a weak track for us, but we bounced back well. We didn’t dwell on it, didn’t get frustrated, we understood it wasn’t going to be a good weekend for us and this weekend would better.
“We maximized it and bounced back in a pretty good way. I always want more as a driver, the team always wants more, we’re happy with how we’ve done but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”