Norris can’t “put a smile on my face” after letting McLaren F1 team down in Mexico

Norris says he felt like he let down the hundreds of people in his McLaren team who were relying on him to get the job done.

Without a banker lap, Norris had one shot at a time in Q1 in Mexico, but he ran wide and had to abort, leaving him in 17th on the final grid.

FEATURE: 10 things we learned from the 2023 Formula 1 Mexico GP

The mishap came just a couple of races after Norris had a fraught time at the Qatar sprint weekend, when he made costly mistakes in both qualifying and the shootout.

From his lowly grid spot, Norris enjoyed a superb race in Mexico, eventually finishing fifth despite dropping places at the restart following the red flag for Kevin Magnussen’s crash.

However he was convinced that he should have been on the podium.

When asked by Autosport if he had thoughts about what might have been, Norris said: “Of course, of course.

“I know people complain at why I’m so disappointed at times. And it’s because of days like today. Of course, I’m going to be disappointed, right?

“Like there’s a chance to finish on the podium and get another trophy, score more points. Why would I ever be happy about a day like Saturday?

“I moved on very quickly, I moved on better than I did in Qatar. And we put a lot of focus on Sunday. And I think that was evident, and then it paid off. But yeah, I’m never going to be happy after a day like Saturday, right? Because I know what we’re capable of doing.

“And when you have a day like today [Sunday], then you think of the ‘what could have beens’? And yeah, there’s too many what could have beens at the minute. I just need to tidy some things up, and then things can start to roll.”

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren

Norris acknowledged that his Qatar mistakes were even more disappointing,

“Again, a similar thing, but that was for higher positions, right?,” he said.

“And that was twice. It’ll be the same for anyone. If anyone was in my position, maybe some people are better than others, but you’re never going to be happy when you’ve messed up, and you let the team down.

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“There’s 700-800 people who are relying on me to do a good job. So when you don’t, how can I put a smile on my face?

“I think that I dealt with it a lot better than I did last time. Mainly because it wasn’t for a pole or for a win. But at the same time I moved on, and got my head down onto today. And it all paid off. So I’m happy with that.”

Despite his frustrations Norris insisted that had enjoyed the Mexican race.

“I enjoyed the whole thing, apart from my restart,” he said. “I don’t know if you saw it, but I probably had to avoid a very big crash, just people coming across, probably not realising that people can be three abreast.

“So I avoided two extremely big crashes, which would have been very nasty. So a bit more self-awareness of some drivers would be great.”

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