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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Norris Mexico GP “masterpiece” reminded Stella of Alonso’s F1 Valencia 2012 win

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Norris was compelled to start out from seventeenth on the grid after failing to set a aggressive lap time in qualifying.

However the Briton scythed by means of the sector in Mexico Metropolis, and even after shedding positions due to an sadly timed pink flag and a poor restart, he continued reeling off overtakes to complete fifth.

His McLaren crew was floored by Norris’ race day efficiency, with crew boss Stella evaluating it to one in every of Alonso’s most interesting wins when he labored with the Spaniard at Ferrari on the 2012 European Grand Prix.

“This race made me consider Valencia 2012. On the time we began eleventh after which we received the race,” Stella mentioned as he was requested the place it ranked amongst Norris’ most interesting drives.

“We had been having precisely this dialog on the pitwall. Will Joseph, his race engineer, turned to me and he mentioned: ‘That is one in every of Lando’s finest!’ And I mentioned: ‘Will, that is among the finest of all!’

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“So many overtakes in Mexico, when yesterday if you happen to learn the quotes everybody was saying it is so troublesome to overhaul, whereas managing energy unit temperatures, and having to do carry and coast…

“I am simply impressed. Among the finest days for a driver that I’ve been a part of.”

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Alex Albon, Williams FW45

However as McLaren proved extra aggressive than anticipated in Mexico, Norris and the crew had been left pondering what may have been with a greater qualifying place.

“On one facet, we’re excited having seen this sort of masterpiece,” Stella added. “On the opposite facet, like Lando mentioned on the in-lap, let’s do job on Saturday and we are able to combat for podiums. The tempo was there to combat for podiums.

“We had been ready to be the second finest automotive, probably shared with [Lewis] Hamilton.”

He added: “There’s a little aspect of frustration, however if you happen to requested me yesterday, nowhere close to would I’ve thought we may have overtaken so many automobiles.

“I would quite take the Positive out of this race and I hope that your complete crew on the manufacturing facility and all of the followers obtain the identical kind of message.

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“We’re there. We do not quit. We’re aggressive. However we have to do a greater job total over a race weekend.”

Group-mate Oscar Piastri wasn’t in a position to emulate Norris after sustaining aero harm in a conflict with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda. The F1 rookie ultimately dropped all the way down to eighth after being handed by Norris within the last stint.

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