Red Bull’s misfortune at the Singapore Grand Prix was a shock for all and that includes McLaren driver Lando Norris. The drivers at the Milton Keynes-based team, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez had a tough qualifying session as they were eliminated from Q2 and managed to secure the fifth and eighth spots respectively on the race day. At the conclusion of the race at the Marina Bay track, Red Bull’s victory streak had finally come to an end.
The team as well as Verstappen addressed the issues with the car, the RB19 which was considered an invincible beast until now. But the affair did not go unnoticed by the rest of the grid. At the media conference right after the race, Lando Norris admitted, “I don’t know what they struggled with but when I watched his onboard yesterday I kind of laughed because I’ve never seen a car that bad before. Max also laughed about it. We’ll see next weekend, I think they’ll be back at the top.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 17, 2023
Everyone in and around the Formula 1 arena deemed this incident rather a peculiar one. The all-time powerful Red Bull car was unable to adapt to the challenging track at Marina Bay which led to an unusual turn of events as it gave an opportunity to other teams to score points and led to Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz’s first race win in this season.
Lando Norris keeps his second place after George Russell’s crash
The British driver was unable to hold back his emotions as he took the second place finish at the Singapore GP. Throughout the weekend, Norris did incredibly well and even had a shot at securing the pole position but fell short by only a mere 0.286 seconds behind Carlos Sainz. With both the Red Bull drivers out of the picture, it was the chance of a lifetime for the drivers to go ahead and rank higher on the grid and possibly fetch a few additional points for their respective teams.
“We gave Lando a bit of DRS to help him, and in the end, it worked
“Carlos was very generous trying to help me get DRS”
Pembalap Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, menggunakan strategi sangat brillian di GP Singaporepic.twitter.com/STdFQhRPNi
— TMI Hari ini (@TMIHARINI) September 18, 2023
However, this second spot was not predetermined. This was only possible when Mercedes driver George Russell, who was trailing behind Norris, crashed at the last moment. When he was left devasted and contemplating on what just had happened, Norris kept his place. This incident, in fact, even helped Lewis Hamilton to secure a podium which did not seem possible until the last few laps.
The McLaren team made upgrades that were specifically designed to cater to the issues that the car faced when it was creeping at a slow speed. Pleased with the team and the car, the Briton said, “That was a very good result for us today. I think we were probably closer to the top than we thought.” The significantly updated MCL60 had a huge impact on Norris’ performance and has to face the Suzuka track at the Japanese Grand Prix.