Norris self-critical: "I just was a sh** driver" in Perez battle

01-12-2019 17:37
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Norris self-critical: I just was a sh** driver in Perez battle

After getting overtaken in the final part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by championship rival Sergio Perez, McLaren rookie Lando Norris thought he wasn't aggressive enough in his defence when he got overtaken at the end of the back straight at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Norris needed to keep Perez behind him to get 10th place in the drivers' championship, a task which was always going to be hard heading into the tail-end of Sunday's Grand Prix. 

Sitting in seventh place, Perez behind was on much fresher tyres and fast approaching, before eventually making a move stick at Turn 11. Looking back at the overtake, Norris was unhappy with his own defending, particularly given the stakes.

"Going to sound like I'm pretty terrible now, but he did me round the outside, end of the back straight into Turn 11, after the GP2 pits," the 20-year-old told Autosport.

"I defended, went to the inside, he committed around the outside, he had much better tyres, I was a bit nervous of locking or doing something stupid, but I just wasn't forceful enough."

Because of the move, Norris finished eighth rather than seventh and is 11th in the championship, outside of the top 10, which was his target heading into the weekend. Despite a stellar rookie season, the youngster remained hard on himself.

"I just kind of braked, I didn't think - 'he'll be going around the outside, I need to release the brakes and give him less room' - I just was a shit driver, basically, in my mind, because he was the one guy I had to beat today, and I didn't.

"So, because of that I'm annoyed. But the rest of the race was good, but it all led up to this one moment, and I failed in what I needed to do."

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