Norris "doesn't know what Stroll was thinking" in crash
McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris believes rival Lance Stroll was to blame for their collision in the Spanish Grand Prix, saying he doesn't understand what Stroll was thinking.
Stroll and Norris came together while battling for 14th position on the 45th lap of the Barcelona race, the collision putting both out on the spot and necessitating a safety car.
Norris had attempted a move around the outside of Stroll into the Turn 1 right-hander and remained to Stroll's left – which was now the inside line into the left-hander Turn 2 – when the Canadian began to turn in, triggering the collision.
Asked by Motorsport.com whether he considered backing out of the move, Norris said: “Well, he [Stroll] knew I was there on the entry to Turn 1. I don't know what he was thinking after that.
“I was still on the outside, I had a decent part of my car on the outside for Turn 2. But as soon as he started to turn in to the left, I could tell that he either thought that I completely backed out of it, or I disappeared, or I don't know what.
“At a point I knew he was just going to turn in and not give me enough room, I had to try and back out and do what I can but I didn't have enough time.”
When asked about the collision by Motorsport.com, Stroll insisted there was not enough space in the corner for the two of them to go through side-by-side.
“I didn't really see the replay so I'll have to check it out in detail - but yeah, I mean, there was not much room there,” Stroll said.
“I have to make the corner, so I turned in, and yeah, there was not really much I could do. I braked on the inside and went deep into the first corner, and then I had to turn into the next corner and unfortunately just not enough space for both cars.”
Norris and Stroll were summoned to the stewards after the race, but after hearing the drivers out, the stewards ruled that "neither driver was wholly or predominantly to blame" and thus took no further action.
"Car 4 [Norris] attempted to pass car 18 [Stroll], on the outside, in turn 1 but did not in the view of the stewards, complete the overtake because the car 4 was not completely alongside car 18," the stewards' explanation read.
"The driver of car 4 believed that he had the right to be allowed 'racing room' into turn ,2 whereas the driver of car 18 stated that he was on the racing line in turn 1 and had to take turn 2 by remaining on the racing line. He stated he was not aware at that point, of the location of car 4.
"The Stewards believe that the driver of car 4 could have backed out of the attempted overtake into turn 2 and also that the driver of car 18 might have been more aware of the possibility that car 4 could be on his inside."
Norris could be heard apologising after the incident, but the Briton clarified that his apologies were “definitely not meant” for Stroll.
“I'm the one driving the car. If I end up out of the race because of a crash - I'm the one driving, I'm the one making the decisions.
“Whether I shouldn't have risked trying to overtake him... I don't know. I'm just sorry because I'm the one driving and I let the team down for just not finishing the race.”
Additional reporting by Adam Cooper
Car of Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34 being recovered by marshals
Photo by: Andy Hone / LAT Images
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