Hear from McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, and Team Principal Andrea Stella after the 2023 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix.
Oscar is squeezed off track at the first corner on the opening lap resulting in race-ending damage. Lando, struggling on the tyres he began the race with, drops to P10 and pits for Hards. Following a number of pit stops, Lando battles Ricciardo and Zhou for P15. Lando pits again for a fresh set of Soft tyres, emerging from the pit lane at the back of the field. Lando makes his way past Sainz before a brilliant move to overtake Sargeant for P16 at the halfway stage. Another overtaking manoeuvre from Lando to get past Zhou, and he is now up to P13. Lando manages his Soft tyres brilliantly while other cars pit and is able to bring his MCL60 home in P7
A good result. I think we can be pleased with that after the start of the race was frustrating for us. We were just very poor on pace and struggled too much to overtake and defend in the straights. So, we were going backwards and backwards in the opening laps. We tried many things with the strategy, and the only thing to work in the end was to put a Soft tyre on, and the whole race transformed after that. We ended up finishing P7, which was, I think, as good as the race could have gone today. Tough for the team, but we scored some good points, and we have to take that going into the break.
A disappointing end to the weekend. I had my nose in there at Turn One and got a bit caught out with Carlos darting to the inside. My nose was in there. I couldn’t get out of that one, so a shame to have my race over so early. It’s still been a positive weekend, though, and all in all. I think we’ve had some good learning on track, so we can still be confident for the rest of the year.
After a positive Sprint event on Saturday, today in the race, we have had some more difficulties. With Oscar, unfortunately, there was an incident in corner one, Oscar ran out of space, and he touched the wall, breaking the steering system, and he needed to retire the car.
On Lando’s side, we tried our best to stay in the points. We knew we were vulnerable in terms of top speed on the straights, and this was an issue in the race. However, thanks to the strategy and thanks to Lando driving exceptionally well while there was some rain on new Softs, we could find some free air, exploit the pace of the car, and this led us to a good P7 finish.
“We are happy that we scored a good chunk of points over the weekend. It has been a very strong stint before the break. I would like to again thank the whole team for the exceptional work that led us to be competitive and score so many points in the last four races, and we can look positively at the races post-shutdown.