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Lando Norris takes blame for botched start that ruined victory chance in Spain
F1 Sport

Lando Norris takes blame for botched start that ruined victory chance in Spain

Lando Norris admitted he felt solely to blame for throwing away his shot at winning the Spanish Grand Prix after he finished second behind Max Verstappen, but the British driver insisted he is still in the fight for this season’s world championship.

Despite starting on pole ­Norris dropped to third at the opening ­corner behind the Mercedes of George ­Russell and the Red Bull of ­Verstappen. It cost the McLaren driver the place and pace on track that try as he might he could not then make up by the flag, where he finished just 2.2 seconds behind the Dutchman.

“Today we were the quickest, we had the best car, I had a nice car out there and I didn’t maximise it,” ­Norris said. “The start is down to me and doing what I got told, and executing that. Without that, or with a good start, we easily should have won.”

His comeback to take the fight to Verstappen was a bold effort but the damage had been done and he acknowledged that the team had done the best they could but that by then the damage had been done.

“I think we quite easily had the best car out there today, I just didn’t do a good enough job off the line, and then that one thing cost me everything,” he said.

“From turn two onwards, 10 out of 10, I don’t think I could have done much more and I think as a team we did the perfect strategy. I was very happy with what we did.”

Norris has moved up to second in the world drivers’ championship, 69 points behind Verstappen with 14 ­meetings remaining. With McLaren now ­looking very close to Red Bull on pace Norris maintained he believed they could yet fight for the title but insisted he and the team had to execute their plans better in future.

“I think so, I should have done ­better today,” he said. “Even though I’ve moved into second in the championship, that doesn’t matter, I couldn’t care if I was second or 10th. It’s more about the gap to what Max is, and he’s still extending it.

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“That’s something that we can’t afford to do – we can’t afford to let him run away with it at this point of the season. We can do it. I know there’s always been a lot of shoulda, woulda, couldas but we have what it takes. It’s just about putting it all together.”

Source: theguardian.com