Norris' Mexico F1 strategy "a mistake" relative to McLaren team-mate Ricciardo

Lando Norris believes that his McLaren team made “a bit of mistake” on strategy in Mexico after he was outscored by Formula 1 team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Norris' Mexico F1 strategy "a mistake" relative to McLaren team-mate Ricciardo

The Australian went from medium to soft tyres and had sufficient pace to not only charge up to seventh place, but also negate a 10 second penalty for contact with Yuki Tsunoda.

In contrast Norris, who stopped earlier, joined several others in going from the medium to the hard, only to find it was lacking performance.

He eventually finished ninth, some 16.5 seconds behind Ricciardo on the road, having been three places ahead of him early on.

The Englishman’s race had already been compromised by a difficult first lap in which he was passed by Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon of Alpine, the team that McLaren is battling for fourth position in the World Championship,.

“[I lost] just two places in the beginning, obviously, both to Alpines, which is the main thing,” he explained when asked by Autosport about his start.

“Just one off the line and then one around the first few corners, which is just a bit unlucky sometimes. So nothing too bad, just the way it is. The rest I think, we did a reasonable job.”

Norris made it clear that he did not get to run the strategy that he had hoped to use, estimating that Ricciardo's strategy was worth over 30 seconds over his own.

“We covered Yuki [Tsunoda] very early on, which meant I had to go onto the hard tyre. So I would not really what I wanted to do.

“So maybe a bit of a mistake there to do that. But Daniel did what I wanted to do, which was to stay out and then go onto the soft, which was like, 30-40 seconds quicker in terms of race time.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“I think we did the best we could today. Still managed to get past Bottas bought us with a few laps to go. So that one extra point always helps.

Regarding the general lack of grip he said: "I mean, that's just what we have to deal with. Yeah, we made a mistake going onto the hard tyre. You don't have to use it, we chose to. That's life.”

Norris is unsure about the team’s potential form in Brazil as the battle with Alpine over fourth in the constructors' title continues.

The Enstone outfit currently leads by just seven points with two races remaining on the calendar, and Norris was not especially buoyant about McLaren's chances in Brazil.

“It makes me happy that we're closing the gap," he said. "But we're working hard. So I feel like we deserve to be getting what we're getting at the end of the day. But it means we still have to work extremely hard to beat them over the next two races.

“I don't know how we're going to do to be honest with you. I wouldn't say Brazil is going to suit us at all with our balance of the car and so on, and our struggles.

“But I think even the last few races, we've not been the quickest car or quick enough, we've just done a better job with the strategy and with reliability, such as today. So let's get to the chequered flag.”

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