Lando Norris: No warning about Pau Grand Prix-losing crash

McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team protege Lando Norris said there was no warning about the crash that cost him victory in Sunday's Pau Grand Prix European Formula 3 race

Lando Norris: No warning about Pau Grand Prix-losing crash

Norris held a comfortable lead with 10 laps to go, only for front-suspension failure to pitch his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen into the barriers at the Foch chicane.

The accident allowed Maximilian Gunther to take victory, and close to just two points behind joint F3 European Championship leaders Joel Eriksson and Norris, with Eriksson ahead on wins countback.

"The pace was just extremely good," said Norris, who had banished his starting problems by converting pole position into the race lead.

"I was half a second a lap or so quicker than Maxi at the beginning, and I just felt extremely good, with loads of confidence.

"I was a bit annoyed there was a safety car, but before the safety car my general pace was still two or three tenths faster a lap, so I was confident I could pull away again, which I did.

"And then the front-left suspension broke basically.

"It didn't just start to go - it happened in one go."

As Norris took the apex at Foch, the suspension broke and plunged him into the wall.

"The car was perfect, and it didn't handle any differently in any corner," Norris told Autosport.

"Just as I landed [off the first apex] and turned into the right [second apex] the front-left wheel went to the left, so I couldn't turn.

"I was taking less kerb than the others, and I did nothing different - it was just the perfectly wrong angle and that buckled it basically.

"There's nothing I could have done."

The build-up to Norris's crash was different to Eriksson's at the same corner, which cost the Motopark driver fourth place with six laps remaining in race two.

"In the middle of the race I felt there was something wrong in the front-left suspension, because the car was running strangely," said the Swedish BMW DTM junior.

"Then just before the accident it got much worse in the long corner [Parc Beaumont] - crazy snaps in the car.

"I could feel something went loose, and when I hit the kerb everything just lifted - I saw the wheel go up and went straight on into the wall.

"It was unlucky but shit happens."

Neither Norris's nor Eriksson's accidents - along with several others - caused a safety car, and their fellow title contender Callum Ilott praised the marshalling and crane operators.

"Thanks to the marshals for being so quick," said Ilott, who crashed out of the lead at the same place in race one.

"They've been really good all weekend at getting things out of the way without the need for safety cars, and it's allowed us to get on with racing."

shares
comments
Gunther wins European F3's Pau Grand Prix after Norris crash

Previous article

Gunther wins European F3's Pau Grand Prix after Norris crash

Next article

Mercedes F1 protege George Russell leads GP3 testing at Hungaroring

Mercedes F1 protege George Russell leads GP3 testing at Hungaroring
Load comments
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Plus

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Plus

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Plus

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives Plus

How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives

ART Grand Prix team-mates Frederik Vesti and Juan Manuel Correa's paths to the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship grid couldn’t have been further apart, but both are using the same focus for different goals

FIA F3
May 5, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed Plus

Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Plus

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021
The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars Plus

The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars

Recently named as Autosport's greatest single-seater, Ralt's RT3 launched a plethora of superstar drivers through the early 1980s, and established the constructor as the go-to place for your single-seater weapon

FIA F3
Dec 8, 2020