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Formula 1 Brazilian GP

Norris: Second attack on Verstappen in F1 Brazilian GP "not worth the risk"

Lando Norris reckoned a second attempt to pass Max Verstappen in Formula 1's Brazilian Grand Prix was possible, but not worth the risk of compromising his race long-term.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, battles with Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Following a standing restart to the race thanks to a red-flag period, Norris resumed the race on the front foot and began to catch the leading Verstappen in those opening laps after fending off Lewis Hamilton into the first corner.

Norris used the seventh lap to reel in Verstappen and had a small opportunity to pass into the first corner on the following lap, but Verstappen held the inside line through the Senna S.

Although Norris kept in touching distance and tried again into Turn 4 with DRS assistance, Verstappen covered him off once more. Norris subsequently dropped back and fell outside DRS range by the end of the lap, and never recouped that ground over the rest of the race.

According to Norris, there was the possibility to mount a second assault on Verstappen for the lead, but reckoned that it was better not to potentially compromise his race and put him at risk of the cars behind - citing Fernando Alonso's race pace as a factor.

"The opportunity to race against Max was only going to be for a few laps," Norris explained. "We weren't going to find all of a sudden the pace we needed to compete against him for a whole race.

"Fernando was behind me. We know that [Aston Martin's] race pace, especially when it's high deg, they can have very good race pace.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

"Yesterday he didn't have clean air, but today he was going to be in an opportunity and in a position to potentially just achieve a lot more.

"I didn't want to compromise my own race by having one more attempt. At the same time, I was low on battery and if you overheat the tyres too much, too early, you can pay the price quite heavily.

"I tried, it wasn't worth a second attempt as much as I would have loved to. I think potentially could have done, it just wasn't worth the risk and potential consequence of being in the hands of Fernando and the people behind."

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Norris added that McLaren's biggest weakness in Brazil was at turns 10 and 12, but the potential move on Verstappen was made possible as the new tyres masked those deficiencies.

A potential avenue through getting a good exit out of Turn 2 proved difficult owing to Verstappen having plenty of grip around the circuit, while Norris reckoned that the straights weren't long enough to prise open a gap.

"We struggled too much in Turn 10, Turn 12, it's where the Red Bulls are extremely competitive and we have struggled all weekend - apart from when we were on new tyres.

"I thought if I was going to have one opportunity, it was going to be there and then. I used all my battery and DRS and then you start catching them very quickly.

"I had a good line in Turn 1, Turn 2, but Max also had a lot of grip. If it was maybe later on in the stint, his line in Turn 1, Turn 2 would have been a lot more compromised and a bigger penalty.

"But because the tyres were so fresh and provided a lot of grip, he had a good enough exit that I then only got alongside him just before the braking zone for Turn 4. A couple more metres would have been lovely!"

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