McLaren Worried Lando Norris’ F1 Podium Dream Was Dashed When Mercedes Opted for Medium Tires

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In a nail-biting turn of events during the Marina Bay race, McLaren feared that Lando Norris’ podium chances had slipped away when Mercedes made a strategic tire switch to mediums. Norris had been holding his ground in the third position within the lead pack of cars during the race’s second stint. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz, who had started from pole, was setting the pace at the front to bunch up the field.

However, Norris suddenly found himself catapulted into second place when George Russell, who was leading the race at the time, and Lewis Hamilton, right behind Norris, both switched to medium tires following a virtual safety car deployment on lap 44. The medium compound tires proved to be the ideal choice, and both Mercedes cars began lapping over a second faster than Sainz and Norris. It seemed like Mercedes might stage a stunning comeback and steal the victory.

On the pitwall, McLaren’s team principal, Stella, had his heart in his mouth as he watched Mercedes heading for the pits to equip their cars with fresh medium tires. He admitted, “When I saw them going onto sets of brand new mediums, I thought they’re going to pass us.” Stella recognized that the new medium tires were the right choice given the stint length. However, McLaren hesitated to pit because Norris had no other available tires, and they were concerned about the prospect of 16-17 laps of flat-out racing on used soft tires. Therefore, they made the strategic decision to stay out, opting to pit only in the event of a safety car, not during the virtual safety car period.

Stella’s confidence wavered, and he mentally prepared himself for disappointment. He recalled, “It was tense, but I was not very optimistic. I was just waiting for it to happen and be ready to say: ‘Don’t get too disappointed.’ They had double medium, it really played well into their hands with this virtual safety car, and we tried our best. But then things changed.”

As the race unfolded, Stella suspected that George Russell’s charge was hindered by potential issues with overheating brakes or tires, which prevented him from launching an attack before the last-lap crash that took him out of contention. Stella explained, “I think soon they lost a little bit of this momentum, and getting traction with the softer tires. Then the last three laps, I said: ‘Maybe we can do it.'”

Crucially, Stella acknowledged the teamwork between two former teammates, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. He noted, “But I don’t think we would have done it without the collaboration with Carlos. Let’s call it like this because Carlos, in his own interest, he wanted to have Lando within the DRS (Drag Reduction System) zone.” This cooperation between the two drivers played a significant role in securing a fantastic result for both McLaren and Ferrari.

In a thrilling and unpredictable race, McLaren’s strategic decisions and the collaboration between their drivers paid off, securing Lando Norris an unexpected podium finish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Marina Bay F1 Race

Q: What happened during the Marina Bay F1 race involving McLaren and Mercedes?

A: In the Marina Bay F1 race, McLaren’s Lando Norris was initially in a strong position, but Mercedes made a tactical move to switch to medium tires, creating tension about the outcome of the race.

Q: How did Lando Norris end up in second place during the race?

A: Norris moved up to second place when George Russell and Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes switched to medium tires under a virtual safety car, putting him in a more favorable position.

Q: Why did McLaren choose not to pit Lando Norris when Mercedes did?

A: McLaren decided not to pit Norris because he had no other available tires, and they were concerned about the performance of used soft tires over the remaining laps. They opted to stay out and only consider pitting in the event of a safety car, not during the virtual safety car period.

Q: What role did Carlos Sainz play in the race, according to the McLaren team?

A: Carlos Sainz, Norris’ teammate at McLaren, played a crucial role by collaborating with Norris to keep him within the DRS zone, contributing to their success in the race.

Q: How did the race unfold for McLaren and Mercedes towards the end?

A: Mercedes initially appeared to have the advantage with the medium tires but lost some momentum, and Norris began to catch up. Ultimately, a last-lap crash involving George Russell changed the race’s outcome.

Q: What was the final result for McLaren and Lando Norris in this race?

A: McLaren’s strategic decisions and Norris’s performance paid off, securing Lando Norris an unexpected podium finish in the thrilling and unpredictable Marina Bay F1 race.

More about Marina Bay F1 Race

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F1Fanatic45 September 17, 2023 - 11:51 pm

luv how carlos help lando, teamwork FTW!

TyreWhisperer September 18, 2023 - 12:42 am

Merc makin’ moves, then lose steam, drama til the end!

SpeedyRacer91 September 18, 2023 - 2:44 am

mclaren had me sweatin’ when merc go medium. then norris got 2nd. wow!


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