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McLaren needed "five more laps" for Norris strategy to work

Jul 16, 2019

McLaren felt it needed "five more laps" for Lando Norris' two-stop strategy to pay dividends in the British Grand Prix.

Norris had looked set for another star showing at Silverstone but the team elected not to pit him during the safety car phase, with him already having made a switch to mediums a few laps beforehand.

The team hoped that a late stop for fresher rubber would pay off as rivals that had committed to pitting under the safety car would be struggling with older rubber by then, but that scenario did not play out.

In the end, Norris’ final stop to switch to hards dropped him well down the order and he was unable to make enough of a fightback to finish in the points. He came home in 11th.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl was honest that the team had got the strategy call wrong, but said there were good reasons for having done what it did.

“For Lando, with all the data we had from the tyres that came off the cars, we thought there was a high risk to run to the end of the race,” explained Seidl.

“In the end we wanted to try to go on new hards, fresh ones, and then try to get the competition towards the end of the race. But it looks like we would have needed five more laps.”

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Norris said that while it was obvious the strategy call the team made was wrong, he did not want to criticise the team for what they had done.

“We made the wrong decision under the safety car and didn’t box when we should have done,” he said. “It wasn’t gambling but hoping that a few more people would drop off in the end but it didn’t happen.

“In hindsight, the strategy was wrong but it was not something we could have known when we made the decision.

"So I still stand by the team, they did nothing wrong: we just didn’t make the right choice at the end of the day.”

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