Norris fumes over Stroll: "He doesn’t learn!"


McLaren driver Lando Norris was deeply unimpressed by his Racing Point counterpart Lance Stroll after the pair collided during the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Stroll was trying to pass around the outside of turn 1, but cut across the front of the McLaren too soon and was sent spinning into the gravel.

The Canadian was subsequently given a five-second race penalty and three penalty points on his superlicence for causing the collision.

“I don’t know what he was doing, really,” Norris fumed. “He went to the left, which I was quite surprised by when he could very easily have gone for the inside. I was easily halfway alongside he just turns in."

Norris pointed out that Stroll had gone through a similar experience with Max Verstappen in FP2 and that he should have known better this time.

“He obviously didn’t learn from Friday,” Norris told the media in the Portimão paddock. "But he doesn’t seem to learn with anything he does. It happens a lot with him so I need to make sure I stay away now.”

Norris raged over the team radio after the clash and was quick to say sorry for the hardcore profanities he'd used.

“I apologise for what I said about Lance,” he said. “I shouldn’t have said the words I did. Just in the moment it was annoying.”

Stroll later retired from the race with floor damage while Norris finished out in the point after an excellent start that had seen him up to fourth place on the first lap.

His team mate Carlos Sainz had fared even better, passing both Mercedes cars to take the lead of the race on lap 2.

“I put a lot of emphasis on the warm-up lap to try and make sure I got the tyres up to temperature," Sainz told Sky Sports F1 after the race

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) McLaren MCL35 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W11 battle for the lead of the race.

"[There were] a few cars here on the medium tyre, others on the soft, but I think those extra few degrees on the soft tyre and those extra degrees that I put on the formation lap gave me this good first lap.

“Especially driving around [both Mercedes], it was pretty easy actually,” he said. “It was not actually a really tough battle or anything like that. I was just driving around them like they drive around us most of the time.

Hamilton admitted to suffering oversteer and a lack of grip in the light rain on lap 1, and his slow pace almost caught Sainz out. “I nearly crashed into him because he was braking so early, but I could just drive around the outside no problem."

Even once the rain eased off, Sainz still found it easy to catch and pass Bottas. "Because it was not raining anymore, I was expecting him to pick up the pace. I don’t know, I was just super comfortable.

“Then I’m on top of him, and I try to show my nose to try and make him a bit nervous and look in the mirrors, and he missed the apex," he explained. "That got me into the lead!"

The two Mercedes drivers were back up to speed by lap 5 and retook the lead while the McLaren suffered the tyre graining that has been a chronic problem with the MCL35 this year.

“Our car tends to understeer a bit in mid-corner [in cooler temperatures] and that damages the front left quite a lot," he said. “It has been a feature of our car recently

"Today - without the graining, after leading at the start - I think we could have at least finished P4 or P5 with a normal race.”

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