Lando Norris bemuses his disappointment at difficult 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

(Image credit: McLaren F1)

Lando Norris has spoken of his disappointment at McLaren enduring a difficult 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend.

Both Norris and Daniel Ricciardo looked off the pace in FP1 and FP2 but rebounded in Qualifying and Sprint Qualifying.

Norris’ race though was compromised after his left rear tyre got clipped by ex teammate – Carlos Sainz as he swept round the outside of the Spaniard at the start heading into the Senna S.

A puncture consequently followed but Norris recovered to tenth which he felt was “disappointing”, as the team fell 31 points behind Ferrari in the fight for third with three races left of this season.

Explaining what happened at the start, Norris said: “I had a really good start and as I tried to come back onto the track there just wasn’t enough room and I ended up getting the puncture. We could’ve scored some good points.”

Norris though was happy with his overall race performance as he added: “The fight back through was good, managing to score a point, which is better than nothing. I think that’s the best we could’ve done today after what happened.”

Ricciardo meanwhile retired with a power unit issue on Lap 50 but the Aussie went that his race had gone “OK!” until he had to retire.

Despite his retirement mid-race, Ricciardo was proud to had achieved one objective after progressing forward at the start, having finished Sprint Qualifying in 11th which he wasn’t happy with in terms of result.

Ricciardo added that he had enjoyed “good battles” during the race with particular praise for Alpine’s Esteban Ocon of which both drivers made the same overtake on one another during the race, although he was ultimately disappointed to retire after a “much more promising” performance.

 

‘wholly inaccurate’

After the race, rumours emerged that McLaren were set to be sold to Audi which the team described as “wholly inaccurate” in a statement and have vowed to have the story removed.

The statement went on to say: ‘McLaren’s technology strategy has always involved ongoing discussions and collaboration with relevant partners and suppliers, including other carmakers, however, there has been no change in the ownership structure of the McLaren Group.’

This report though comes after reports of Porsche and Audi seeking entry to F1 within the next few seasons, which has fuelled speculation of a team buyout with Williams also reportedly linked to a sale despite having been brought out by Dorilton Capital in 2020.

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