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Formula 1 Austrian GP

How Norris "lost everything" in F1 Austrian GP sprint race

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris has explained how he "lost everything" to fall from third place on the opening lap of the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix sprint race.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Unlike team-mate Oscar Piastri, Norris has benefitted this weekend from the major upgrades brought to the MCL60 for the Red Bull Ring. His car was fitted with a new floor and sidepod design.

He used the revised machine to snare fourth in the Friday qualifying session to determine the grid for the full grand prix and then went one better in the Saturday shootout to land third for the 24-lap sprint bout.

However, Norris lasted only three corners before dropping down on his way to an eventual ninth place.

It appeared as though the McLaren might have been caught up in the frenetic early battle between Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

But Norris clarified that he had avoided contact and instead had triggered anti-stall at Turn 3 and that "cost me everything".

Speaking to Sky Sports, Norris explained: "I just got a bit sideways and just went into anti-stall and I was revving in Turn 3. So that cost me everything. I don't know why it happened.

"My Turn 3 was OK, I think. It was obviously quite close, but I just went into anti-stall, so I lost everything.

"I was basically in neutral [revving], watching everyone drive past."

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Norris resumed in 10th place and ultimately gained a position at the flag, however, he was relegated late on by Nico Hulkenberg and George Russell, both of whom made a pitstop to switch from worn intermediate tyres to a set of slick Pirellis.

Norris reckoned he was "happy" with the marginal McLaren decision to stay out and that on another day, it would have been his rivals who were instead made to look like "idiots".

He said: "It was a tough decision. The guys [who pitted] only managed just to get back through on the last lap so it was tough. It's such a difficult one to know.

"You can look like heroes. Either way, it's not like a 'yes' or 'no' answer. I'm happy with our decision of staying out.

"If there's a safety car, if there's something, then the other guys look like idiots. This way, we look like idiots.

"It goes and comes your way sometimes. We lost two positions in the last couple of laps, but we already lost it really at Turn 3 on lap one."

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