McLaren’s Lando Norris says his pace on the Pirelli medium tire in the closing stages of the Monaco Grand Prix should allow him to beat race leader Max Verstappen.
Norris spent most of his afternoon just outside the points in tenth place 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 go from medium to hard and was briefly overtaken by Piastri.
But four laps later, he returned to the pit lane to pounce on the interval set as the initial drizzle that drenched the track around Mirabeau intensified.
Norris then took two places to the detriment of Piastri and Tsunoda and eventually caught up with Verstappen. But the McLaren Charger wisely chose not to force the race leader.
“I would say I was the fastest on the track, even faster than Max. I wanted Max to get the blue flags,” he said sky sports, commenting hos tempo on inters.
“He’d probably have blue flags for the first time in his life, which would be amazing.
“So I was really hoping to overtake him just because he would hate it and I would love it and it would just be fun.
“But he was driving the Monaco Grand Prix so I didn’t want to interfere too much.”
Like many of his rivals, Norris believed he would have scored much better than P9 if his team – who believed at the time that the rain was not coming – switched him directly from hard to intermediate.
“The pace was really very strong. Fastest on the track, and then I think the only mistake was that we went on the hard tire in the middle for two laps and then switched to the intermediate,” he explained.
“We just didn’t expect it to rain, or the team told me it wouldn’t rain much, they said it would be very short and only a little.
“At the time I was obviously happy to box with the information I had, but I probably should have waited a few more laps to see what would happen.
“We lost at least 30 seconds, which would have given us three positions.
Some good points, but honestly, pace in the wet doesn’t really matter. Just a little ego boost, I guess.”
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