Norris likely feeling 'very guilty' but he'll learn – Leclerc

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Charles Leclerc suggests Lando Norris will have left Sochi on Sunday evening feeling  "very guilty" after making the wrong strategy call while leading the Russian Grand Prix but insists the McLaren driver will learn from the costly mistake.

Norris had held an authoritative lead since lap 13 and looked set to fend off Lewis Hamilton until a rain shower wreaked havoc on the Briton's race with just a handful of laps to go.

As teams and drivers pondered whether to switch to intermediate tyres amid the worsening conditions, Norris made the call to stay out while Hamilton made the opposite move and pitted.

The McLaren driver's decision proved costly as the downpour intensified and forced those who had remained on slick tyres - including the McLaren driver - to head for the pits.

Norris rejoined proceedings well down the order to salvage a meager seventh-place finish, having missed a golden opportunity to score his maiden Grand Prix win.

"I can imagine what he’s feeling because also he’s part of the decision process in those type of situations and he might feel very, very guilty," commented a compassionate Leclerc.

"But he’s an amazing driver. I think he has shown it very often this season. He has had a very strong season and I’m sure he will he will learn from it.

"It’s just a matter of time before his first win. I don’t think he should feel so down after the race he has done."

Norris' good friend George Russell - who knows what it feels like to lose a maiden win to bad luck or circumstances, having come close to glory in Bahrain last year during his one-off with Mercedes – echoed Leclerc's sentiment, and agreed with the Monegasque that a win is on the horizon for Norris.

"It's every driver's worst nightmare, to be leading a race, and you start seeing rain on your visor," Russell said.

"You're damned if you do box, you're damned if you don't box. You're in a lose-lose position.

"I've been there. It definitely hurts, but he'll recover. I guess you try and take positives from it, and he'll have a victory sooner or later."

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