Quicker Norris on inters wanted 'blue flags' for Verstappen


McLaren's Lando Norris says his pace on Pirelli's intermediate tyre in the closing stages of the Monaco Grand Prix should have allowed him to un-lap himself against race leader Max Verstappen.

Norris spent most of his afternoon just inside the points in tenth position, between AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda and his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri.

The Briton was brought in by his team on lap 50 of 78 to switch from mediums to hards, and was briefly overtaken by Piastri.

But four laps later he returned to the pitlane to bolt on a set of inters as an initial drizzle that had dampened the track around Mirabeau increased in intensity.

Norris then gained two spots to the detriment of Piastri and Tsunoda, and eventually caught up with Verstappen. But the McLaren charger wisely chose not to force the against the race leader.

"I'd say I was the quickest on track, even quicker than Max. I wanted Max to get blue flags," he told Sky Sports, commenting on hos pace on the inters.

"Probably for the first time in his life he would have had blue flags, which would have been amazing.

"So I was really hoping to pass him just because he would have hated it, and I would have loved it and would have just been funny.

"But he was leading Monaco Grand Prix, so I also didn't really want to intrude too much."

Like many of his rivals, Norris reckoned that he would have achieved a much better result than P9 if his team – which believed at the time that rain was not forthcoming – had switched him directly from hards to inters.

"The pace was actually very strong. Quickest on track and then I think the only mistake was we boxed onto the hard tyre in the middle for two laps and then we went on to the intermediate," he explained.

"We just didn't expect it to rain, or the team told me it wasn't going to rain a lot, they said it was going to be very brief and only a little bit.

"Then I was of course happy to box with the information I had, but probably should have just waited a couple more laps just to see what did happen.

"We lost at least 30 seconds, which would have put us up to three positions.

Some good points, but the pace in the wet doesn’t matter, honestly. Just a little ego boost, I guess."

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