McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris had harsh words for Racing Point driver Lance Stroll after their collision during the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Stroll tried to pass Norris around the outside of Turn 1 on the 18th lap, briefly running off-track as he lined up the move before turning in and spinning as a result of contact with Norris’ McLaren.
Both men’s races unravelled from that point on, with Stroll being penalised and subsequently retiring after another penalty for track limits abuse, while Norris had to pit with damage and went on to finish 13th.
Norris didn’t mince words when talking about Stroll post-race, questioning the Canadian’s decision-making and referencing Stroll’s run-in with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in Friday practice.
He said Stroll “didn’t learn from Friday, and doesn’t seem to learn with anything he does” and reckoned he would need to “make sure he [Stroll] stays away” on track.
“I think it was quite obvious, on the TV,” Norris said. “I don’t know what he was doing. I was still on the inside, clearly.
Stroll's tries to overtake Norris around the outside of Turn 1 and there's contact! 😮
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 25, 2020
“He just did what he did on Friday again. I don’t know if he can’t see properly on the right side or something.
“He does the same all the time. He crashes a lot. Just ruined my race.”
Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer described the collision as a racing incident, while Stroll himself said it was an “awkward” situation.
“He [Norris] was kind of in the middle of the track and then I wasn’t sure if he was going to go on the inside or stay on the line,” Stroll said. “It was very awkward.
“So, I had to make a split-second decision and I was on the outside over the kerb and from there, yeah, I just kind of turned into the corner and I guess it wasn’t enough room for the both of us, so that was that.”
Norris believed he could’ve scored at least a few points without the collision and aid McLaren’s battle with Racing Point and Renault for third in the constructors’ standings, in which the Woking-based team now trails the former by two points and leads the latter by four.
“When I’m driving and he does something like that – or anyone does something, then I’m annoyed, and I say things, but it’s just cause you’re so frustrated,” Norris said of his furious radio message straight after the incident.
“It goes from going well so quickly to going terribly. Of course I was annoyed. I’m disappointed now but nothing I can do about it.”
Stroll’s team-mate Sergio Perez recovered from early contact with Max Verstappen to salvage seventh place.
He avoided a potentially costly time penalty for his late-race chop against AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly, but did receive his second reprimand of the season – and is now just one away from a 10-place grid penalty.
The stewards ruled that Perez’s move was “fundamentally OK and constituted racing at the limit”, but was “too close to that limit” and that he had “not sufficiently accounted for the speed differential” between himself and Gasly.