SportF1This is how McLaren explains its chaos in the...

This is how McLaren explains its chaos in the Canadian pitlane

Lando Norris radioed that he was in the pitlane. His engineer confirmed receipt of the message. Shortly after, Norris was in the box where the cars must stop, in front of the McLaren garage , and nothing went right: the wrong tire was put on the front left, and there was no tire for the right. Almost 20 seconds passed before the chaos was over and Norris was able to come out with a new set of hard.

How could that have happened? McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl was visibly uncomfortable with that question after the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. For this reason, he was concise and spoke of a “communication problem” that led to the double stop failure of Ricciardo and Norris.

“I don’t want to go into too much detail because we have to deal with it internally. We have to analyze it and do better next time,” Seidl said.

The team was warned that Norris was going to enter for tires in Canada

Daniel Ricciardo, whose tires had been changed by McLaren a few moments earlier (and with a very improvable stop), acknowledged “a little confusion” even looking at it in his rearview mirror, and blamed it on a “late decision” to enter the pits. That’s probably why “something went wrong” at the tire change, he speculated.

However, the McLaren mechanics had been warned much earlier: Norris was on the back straight, coming out of the hairpin, when the virtual safety car phase kicked in on lap 19. He promptly asked the team: “What do we do?” ?”. The answer was immediate: “Enter the pits.”

Once there, Norris had to wait briefly for Ricciardo to leave, then took his place in front of the pits. But suddenly everything became hectic, with the mechanics gesticulating exaggeratedly because Norris’s tires weren’t ready.

Norris got angry, he couldn’t believe it in the Montreal pitlane

How did Norris experience the chaotic scene on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit and how could he explain it? The McLaren driver ignored the press: “Surely you know more than me. I only saw what you saw. They put different tires on me, and then I was missing one. So I have no idea.”

Norris looked hurt. Not only did he lose almost 20 seconds in that pit stop, but he didn’t get anything good out of the race. “Everything went wrong. There were hardly any positive things,” he said. And then he delivered a damning verdict: “The car is not good enough.”

He says that he and Ricciardo were “probably the slowest” with the MCL36 in Montreal. “So you can’t overtake and you don’t do anything. But a day like this is good, because it shows that we’re still missing a lot of things. Because we never see the real pace, and sometimes we’re lucky to be there. But then you can see where we really are. “.

McLaren’s performance does not depend on a particular circuit, Norris continues. And as to whether that has dashed all hope for the rest of the season, he would just say, “Yes.”

And he sentenced: “Now I want to take a cool bath, have an ice cream and then go home.”

To make matters worse, the English driver, on his second tire change on lap 50, when he was in the middle of the peloton trying a slightly more alternative strategy to overtake his rivals, made a joke on the radio pointing out his team’s failure.

“Okay, box to overtake confirmed, box now,” he said as he approached the garage to emphasize McLaren’s mistake and not to repeat it again. “Lando in the pitlane,” he said in a rather peculiar tone as he hit the throttle button.

Ricciardo, also without possibilities in the race of Canada

Ricciardo didn’t finish much happier in Canada either: “It probably wasn’t a clean race. It was one of those races where I felt like I was holding on. There were some overtakes with DRS, but I wouldn’t say we had any strong points. We didn’t get noticed.” .

“I overtook a couple of times at the final chicane but I think it was two cars on older tyres. We were just slow and out of the important sections,” explained the McLaren Australian.

McLaren drivers had to take care of the car in Canada

And that was not all: both Norris and Ricciardo had to save their car in the final phase of the race. Team boss Andreas Seidl spoke explicitly about the brakes. That is why Ricciardo could not attack at the end, and finished 11th, 4.8 seconds from the points. Norris, meanwhile, finished nine seconds back in 15th position.

For Seidl it was therefore “a disappointing weekend for many reasons”. On the one hand he spoke of the “faulty procedures in the race” and on the other of the “lack of pace of the car”.

“Overall we had difficulties,” Ricciardo said.

To get something positive, the porpoising was not as dramatic in Canada as it had been a week before at the Azerbaijan GP. “After Baku we found out that something had broken, and that’s why my rebound had been so bad,” revealed Ricciardo. “In Canada it was better. On this circuit there are big potholes before turn 8 that bother you a bit towards the end of the race, but nothing more.”

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