Drivers are seldom satisfied at being told to stay behind their team mates, particularly in the final laps of a race when there are points on the line.Lando Norris to ordered to hold position by McLaren with three laps to go on Sunday.
When it was pointed out to him that his team mate Daniel Ricciardo had done the same for him earlier in the race, Norris objected. “But that was for the strategy,” he said. “This is for the finishing position.”
Nonetheless, despite showing his team mate the nose of his car going into turn one, Norris complied. But speaking to media after the race it was clear Norris was disappointed he’d been told to follow Ricciardo home, partly because his team mate had benefited from the timing of a Virtual Safety Car period later in the race.
However it was also clear, as is often the case in these situations, that Norris didn’t have the full picture about exactly how the team had made its decision, after Ricciardo followed him for much of the first stint while the pair pursued Fernando Alonso.
“It was one lap Daniel just stayed behind me until I boxed and I don’t think that one lap would have changed anything,” said Norris in response to a question from RaceFans. “He still would have been probably been behind Fernando and I still would have been behind. It’s just he got the VSC pit stop.”
Norris stressed he was happy to follow the team’s instructions, but felt he should have had the opportunity to race his team mate.
“I think just racing for a normal position at the end, he wasn’t there or behind me or whatever in a different position because of what we did earlier in the race. We thought that would help me it, but it didn’t. Therefore, at the end of the race, there was nothing to gain or lose between us.
“It was just, it’s a race. It’s nothing I’m complaining of or I’m angry about it. I wanted to overtake and I wanted to race and that’s what I said on the radio. But I listen to what the teams says.”
Here’s everything the team said to both its drivers during the race:
Norris and Ricciardo Azerbaijan Grand Prix team radio messages
The McLaren drivers occupied the sixth row of the grid, Norris on medium tyres ahead of Ricciardo on hards. The pair kept their positions at the start, Norris unable to pass Alonso due to the Alpine’s strong traction out of the slow speed corners and speed on the straights due to its lower wing level.
Norris wasn’t able to get within DRS range of Alonso, and Ricciardo found good initial pace on his harder rubber, so he was immediately on his team mate’s tail. McLaren therefore told Ricciardo as early as lap four not to try to pass the team’s other car. Norris was also told the same.
|2||Stallard||Middle sector use anti-overtake if possible.|
|Stallard||Ocon 1.2. Suggest brake balance plus two clicks.|
|Ricciardo||Understood. I used some anti-overtake, was that okay?|
|Stallard||Yeah, very good.|
|3||Joseph||Suggest strat seven.||Ricciardo||Will DRS activate this lap?|
|Joseph||And DRS has been enabled.||Stallard||DRS enabled. DRS enabled now.|
|4||Joseph||Daniel’s been asked to hold position.||Stallard||Strat seven. Strat seven. No more anti-overtake.|
|Stallard||Daniel team orders, hold position behind Lando, hold position for the moment.|
The pair were told to extend their advantage over Ocon. The Alpine driver was dropping back from Ricciardo, who pointed out to McLaren he was capable of lapping more quickly:
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|5||Joseph||Lando our goal at the moment is for both you and Daniel to gap Ocon behind who is 3.5.||Ricciardo||Understood. I’ll keep you posted if I’ve got a lot more pace.|
|Stallard||Understood. Keep me updated on pace.|
|Stallard||We can protect the rear or turn eight/nine through the castle. Protect the rear through the castle.|
|Ricciardo||Okay. Do you want me to not use anti-overtake at all?|
|Stallard||Currently pack is full, that’s why Daniel. Anti-overtake’s fine if you discharged the pack.|
|Stallard||And suggest brake balance plus two clicks, brake balance plus two clicks.|
|Stallard||Gap to Ocon is now 2.7. What we want to do is keep pulling the gap on him.|
|6||Joseph||How is the pace? How are the tyres?||Stallard||Suggest red…|
|Norris||Pace three or so. Just trying to protect the tyres. Just can’t overtake so no point in pushing.||Ricciardo||This…|
|Joseph||Okay Lando message understood. Suggest orange E5, orange E5.||Stallard||Go ahead.|
|Ricciardo||Go on, you go.|
|Ricciardo||I was going to just say if this is his best pace, I’ve got more.|
|Stallard||Understood. Daniel, turn five, if you need it, use top-left toggle. But rear slip is high as well. 20k tailwind turn five.|
|7||Joseph||And Lando minor white H8 position five. White H8 position five.||Stallard||Keep looking after the rears, Daniel, keep looking after the rears.|
|Stallard||Daniel target smoother inputs turn 19 to protect rears. Smooth as you can with the steer turn 19.|
|Stallard||Okay Daniel, Lando is managing tyres, Lando is managing his pace by a few tenths. So if we want to just focus on doing the same, manage the tyres. We need to get good pace to target lap.|
Carlos Sainz Jnr’s retirement caused a Virtual Safety Car period. McLaren kept both drivers out.
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|8||Norris||A lot of surges in third gear.||Ricciardo||Understood.|
|Joseph||The switch we just did should help.||Stallard||Consider yellow down two for mid-corner rotation.|
|Stallard||And with that diff change suggest orange torque four to protect rears, orange torque four to protect rears.|
|Stallard||So that’s a 1.8-second gap to Lando. Now I would keep within that range. Ocon 2.8.|
|9||Joseph||Couple of yellow flags turn four.||Ricciardo||Okay. Deg pretty even on both axles at the moment.|
|Joseph||Lando how are the tyres?||Stallard||Copy. Yellow flags. Yellow flags turn four. Virtual Safety Car. Virtual Safety Car. Delta positive.|
|Norris||They seem okay.||Ricciardo||Understood.|
|Joseph||Understood.||Ricciardo||You happy with recharge on?|
|Joseph||Virtual safety car. Virtual safety car. We will stay out. We will stay.||Stallard||Yeah. Recharge on is good, but you need to keep the delta close to zero. Hamilton was struggling with tyres, some other cars pitting.|
|Norris||Confirm. Stay out.||Stallard||We will stay out. Stay out. Keep the delta close to zero.|
|Joseph||Confirm. Stay out.||Ricciardo||Understood.|
|Norris||Most others are boxing.||Stallard||Could be racing cars at pit exit.|
|Joseph||Yep. We are happy to stay out as the tyres are good.||Stallard||Will be racing cars at pit exit.|
The team could have brought Norris in for an attacking one-stop strategy, switching to hard tyres as Charles Leclerc did. But a message from Norris’s race engineer Will Joseph indicates why they ruled that out:
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|10||Joseph||Could be close [unclear].||Stallard||Car behind is now Gasly. Gasly on hard.|
|Joseph||And just try and stay on the delta.||Stallard||Suggest green shape four, green shape four and one click down on brake balance. Should be better through stop. Green shape four, one click down.|
|Joseph||And VSC ending, VSC ending.||Ricciardo||Okay. How was Gasly’s pace on the medium.|
|Stallard||Gasly was always in traffic behind Vettel but looks similar to what Lando is doing.|
|Stallard||Virtual Safety Car ending. Recharge off.|
|11||Norris||Straight line speed is tough, overtaking very difficult.||Stallard||Suggest red mid four for a mid-corner rotation, red mid four. Take care turn three exit, there was a bit of a snap, which we can’t afford.|
|Norris||[Unclear] pace [unclear] quicker, I’m just stuck.|
|Joseph||Okay. Understood. We are gapping the cars we need to. This is a relatively good position for us to be in.|
|12||Joseph||So Lando an update for you. Everyone in front, apart from Alonso and the Red Bulls took it. Those who did have got to do a bad one-stop or convert to a two-stop.|
|Joseph||Behind you is Daniel, who stayed out, Gasly who took it, and Ocon who stayed out. Our goal is to do a good job of Plan A and gap the cars behind from Ocon. We are doing that.|
Following the VSC period Norris edged further away from Ricciardo, who was being given feedback on how to improve his driving style:
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|13||Norris||There’s still a lot of surging.||Ricciardo||Understood.|
|Joseph||Understood. I’ll look at it. Be careful slips, turn six, turn seven, turn 12.||Stallard||Keep trying to smooth out the inputs to turn 19, we see high surface temperature turn 19, if you can protect that at all.|
|Joseph||Lando, minor: White H8, position eight. White H8 position eight for the surge.||Ricciardo||Understood.|
|Joseph||And Lando. The safety car window is open. Safety Car window is open.|
|14||Joseph||Thank you.||Stallard||Turn 19 better this time, turn 19 better.|
|Joseph||And Lando if we had to stop happy with the down one?||Ricciardo||Okay.|
|Norris||Yeah. I’m happy with balance.||Stallard||Okay. Gasly is now 1.5. I think we’re just slightly combining too much entry, so make sure you’re not combining too much brake and steer, not [unclear] that rear locking.|
|Joseph||Gap to Ocon is currently 8.9. If you still get the surge, you could try lower gear. Just be careful of tyres. Only if it bothers you.|
|15||Joseph||Lando you are currently P6. Hamilton and Tsunoda pitted. They are stuck behind Ocon, who’s in ninth.||Ricciardo||Okay.|
|Norris||Graining front-right.||Stallard||You’re pulling away from Ocon, though, gap to Ocon now 6.7.|
|Joseph||Okay. Lando, we see that, the rears look okay.||Stallard||Gasly 1.1.|
|Stallard||Gasly now 0.9.|
McLaren told Norris they were considering pitting him to attack Alonso, whose lap times were dropping. However Alpine brought Alonso in on lap 18 and the opportunity for McLaren to ‘undercut’ him was gone:
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|16||Norris||R3, struggling with front-right, a lot.||Stallard||Suggest yellow diff one. Yellow diff one should help you release the brake. Gasly 1.1.|
|Joseph||Lando minor: White H4 position three.|
|Joseph||We see similar graining on Alonso.|
|17||Joseph||We suggest using the left-hand toggle for turn one, turn two. And we are Plan A, look to extend.||Ricciardo||[Unclear] the exit because rear’s loose on exit.|
|Stallard||No should help straighten the exit, should help mid-corner rotation.|
|Stallard||Alonso suffering with graining now.|
|Stallard||So we expect him to pit?|
|18||Joseph||Lando we’re thinking box to overtake, R switch, R switch, what do you think?|
|Norris||Confirm. Yeah confirm, happy with that box to overtake.|
|Joseph||Just remember to put the R switch in the right place.|
McLaren didn’t keep Norris out much longer. He came in two laps after Alonso but fell six seconds behind the Alpine.
Meanwhile Ricciardo had closed right up to his tyre-troubled team mate again. He told McLaren he was capable of going quicker and was concerned about being passed by Gasly:
|19||Joseph||Okay mate bal minus one. This is the bit that makes our race.||Stallard||Okay Daniel, stay behind Lando one more straight. We need to see what pace he has in clear air.|
|Norris||I’m still R3 rear.||Stallard||Daniel Let me know how much you’re being held up.|
|Joseph||Okay strat six is okay for a few laps.||Stallard||Yeah I’ve got more pace.|
|Joseph||Lando Alonso fell behind Bottas, who’s 18.2 doing a 51.1. Minor: White H4 four position three, white H4 position three.||Stallard||Keep you posted.|
|Stallard||Okay. Alonso pitted into traffic. Lando’s trying to overcut him. We’d like to sit behind Lando to give Lando that opportunity.|
|20||Norris||Does he have DRS?||Stallard||If I sit behind any longer I’m going to get eaten up by Gasly.|
|Joseph||Daniel’s using DRS to defend from Gasly, not for you.||Stallard||Okay Lando will box this lap. Then we go. Lando will box this lap.|
|Norris||I’m R3, too much, the rears are going.|
|Joseph||Yep, we got it.|
|Joseph||Understood, mate. We’ll box this lap.|
|Joseph||Lando we’re going to box his lap. Careful, Leclerc’s blown up on the pit entrance. Just be careful of him.|
|21||Joseph||Launch map, launch map, launch map. Could be close to cars at exit. Will be Stroll who’s approaching turn one now, possibly Albon who’s behind him.||Stallard||Anti-overtake available.|
|Joseph||Okay Lando we’re still in a good position. We’re the latest of the cars to stop. People stopped early on to the hard complaining already. Let’s take this step-by-step.||Stallard||Track is showing slippery turn 18 to the pit entry. That’s Leclerc had an engine failure, may have dropped oil. You went through it last lap though.|
|Norris||What are they struggling with? The other cars on hard.||Stallard||Gasly 0.7.|
Gasly immediately slipped by Ricciardo and drew away from him. Hamilton also caught and passed the McLaren:
|22||Joseph||We’re getting the info.||Stallard||Okay. I think you can stay with Gasly, I think you can stay with Gasly and his pace is alright compared to competitors.|
|Joseph||Daniel felt a little bit of front-right graining. First stint some cars on hard struggled with a little bit of deg.||Stallard||Okay white H4 position three. H4, three.|
|Stallard||The car behind is Hamilton. He pitted at the VSC, 2.3, hard tyres.|
|23||Joseph||So Lando the three cars in front are Albon, who took the tyre under the VSC, then Stroll and Bottas who stayed out from the start.||Stallard||Turn seven, you just need to manage with brake pressure, turn seven manage with brake pressure. Brake balance is good.|
|24||Joseph||Okay Lando it’s time to try and start overtaking cars in front. Otherwise, the race falls away from us.||Stallard||The pace is still good Daniel. Pace is good. You’re building gaps to cars behind. We want plan A, plan A.|
|25||Ricciardo||Rears taking a bit of a hit now.|
|Stallard||Okay Hamilton 0.8. I don’t want to lose time with Hamilton. You’re trying to gap Bottas. Bottas doing 1’50.6.|
|Stallard||He’s 19.8 behind.|
|26||Stallard||Okay you’re still gapping the cars we’re racing so keep with Hamilton as long as you can.|
Having come out of the pits on fresh tyres, Norris picked off Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas in quick succession. Soon he was close enough to Ricciardo that his team mate would fall behind him when he pitted, unless a VSC or Safety Car period occured:
|27||Joseph||Stroll next. He won’t have DRS. He’s on old tyres. Let’s get him.||Ricciardo||I think this pace summed up this lap. It’s representative. I could probably do this.|
|Stallard||Okay, that’s good.|
|28||Joseph||Okay Lando Daniel is 25 ahead.||Stallard||Good pace. Good pace.|
|Stallard||The pace is still good Daniel, keep looking to extend.|
|29||Stallard||Still quicker than Bottas, his last lap 49.9.|
|30||Stallard||Daniel tyres still going while we’re thinking target plus five, target plus five, if you can keep this pace.|
|Stallard||Still quicker than Bottas.|
|Ricciardo||Okay. Think I can just hang on to this pace. That should be okay.|
|31||Joseph||Okay mate good job, Daniel within our window now. Cars in front are Magnussen, then Ocon. Ocon is out from the start, Magnussen stopped under the VSC. Magnussen 3.8.||Stallard||Suggest silver entry five to help brake release. Silver entry five.|
|Stallard||Daniel We are in the Safety Car windows, Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car windows.|
|32||Stallard||Okay car call behind his Tsunoda, gap 1.6. We want to stay ahead of him.|
|Stallard||That’s a good lap. Tsunoda 1.8.|
On lap 33 Ricciardo got the break he needed. Kevin Magnussen’s Haas rolled to a stop, a VSC period was triggered, and he switched to medium tyres while staying in front of Norris:
|33||Joseph||And Virtual Safety Car deployed. Virtual Safety Car deployed.||Stallard||Virtual Safety Car, Daniel, Virtual Safety Car. Recharge on, drive to the delta.|
|Joseph||Lando how are the tyres, how are the tyres?||Ricciardo||Do we think it will be long?|
|Norris||Ah they’re fine, I think, obviously, I would love new, but they’re not too bad.||Stallard||Difficult to say, Magnussen is near an exit.|
|Joseph||Okay. Understood. Under a VSC, we would stay out. We would stay out. The VSC is for Magnussen, who went straight on or retired the car at turn 15.||Stallard||Daniel, how’s the front wing?|
|Joseph||Just stay close to your delta please.||Ricciardo||I think it’s okay. If the track’s cooling we can come up, but, yeah.|
|Joseph||And keep close to your delta.||Stallard||The yellows are here, yellows ahead. Track temperature’s dropped five degrees since the start of the race.|
|Norris||Stay out confirm.||Stallard||Daniel we’re box this lap, box this lap. Make sure the Delta is close to zero at pit entry.|
|Joseph||Stay out.||Ricciardo||Understood. Let’s come up just a little bit, just a normal offset.|
|Stallard||Copy. I’m doing the extra half-turn. Box now.|
|Ricciardo||Yeah, box confirmed.|
|34||Joseph||Lando an update. Daniel in front of us obviously benefited from the VSC. No one else did. So this will define the positions we will be racing to the end.||Ricciardo||Daniel pit lane.|
|Norris||What position am I in?||Ricciardo||Can I go launch map off?|
|Joseph||We think it’s 10. Still yellows in turn 15.||Stallard||Launch map off. And… Okay. So it’s still Virtual Safety Car, Daniel. So keep the Delta negative. Sorry, positive. Delta positive. Down three clicks brake balance, brake balance down three clicks. The car behind is Lando on hard. The car ahead is Alonso on hard. Gap to Alonso five, gap to Lando nine.|
|Joseph||And VSC ending, VSC ending.||Stallard||Daniel, at the end of this lap, there are 17 laps to go. Obviously we’d like to pass Alonso if we can. Vettel is also ahead of Alonso, Vettel 11 seconds ahead of you. Lando did 20 laps on medium at the race start. He had some graining on right-hand side tyres for the last three or four laps of that stint.|
|Stallard||Suggest yellow diff two, yellow diff two.|
|Stallard||Still yellows turn 15.|
|Stallard||Virtual Safety Car ending, recharge off, recharge off. Top-left toggle for turn one, cold tyres.|
Now Ricciardo was chasing Alonso, with Norris five-and-a-half seconds behind once the race resumed.
|35||Joseph||Okay Lando Tsunoda is in P5. He’s 15.2 ahead, holding up other cars. He’s out from the VSC. Ocon 9.4 behind.||Stallard||DRS enabled.|
|36||Stallard||Okay Tsunoda struggling at the restart he’s eight seconds ahead that could be another opportunity.|
|37||Joseph||Lando, opportunity: Mind late entry speed, turn 16.|
|Joseph||Turn 16 good that time.|
|38||Joseph||Suggested Orange E5 orange E5 and left-hand toggle for turn five, turn six.||Stallard||Brake balance plus two clicks, protect the rears.|
|Norris||Lap times is Fernando doing?|
|39||Joseph||48.8. Tsunoda has been given a black-and-orange flag. He has just pitted.||Stallard||And plus one brake balance again, plus one brake balance.|
|Joseph||Fernando did a 48.6 last time.||Stallard||Consider orange torque five to calm rears, consider orange torque five for the rears.|
|Joseph||Tsunoda had a very long stop, 29 behind.|
Although Ricciardo was on new tyres he dropped back from Alonso at first. After lap 40 he began to close in but Norris was getting closer behind. The McLaren pit wall discussed what to do.
|40||Joseph||And Lando we’re happy with what you’re doing with your tyres at the moment. 11 laps remaining. Keep pushing up to Daniel.||Stallard||Suggest yellow diff one, go ahead.|
|Norris||Daniel needs to push up more. If get stuck behind Daniel Ocon will catch me.||Ricciardo||Yeah I was just going to say not much in this at the moment.|
|Joseph||I’m on it.||Stallard||Copy. Yellow diff one should help to release the brake.|
|41||Joseph||Okay Lando last time Alonso did a 48.3, let’s see what we can do.||Stallard||That’s a better lap, Daniel, keep chipping away. Target 1’48.5, 1’48.6. Lando currently two seconds behind. We want to try and keep the 2.6, 2.5 second gap to Alonso as well.|
|42||Joseph||Nine laps to go. Keep pushing up. I’m working on it.||Stallard||Time to find in turn eight, don’t attack the braking too much.|
|Stallard||Good step in turn eight, well done. Just nine laps to go now. Nine more laps.|
At first McLaren decided to give Ricciardo a crack at Alonso, then let Norris have a go, and be prepared to reinstate the previous positions. This was explained to Norris, who was asked if he was happy with the decision, while Ricciardo was encourages to attack the Alpine:
|43||Joseph||Okay. Lando, here’s the situation. If you can close up on Daniel and if Daniel can’t close up on Alonso, we will let you through. But if we can’t overtake Alonso, we will relinquish the position towards the end of the race. Happy?||Stallard||Blue Harvest five. Blue Harvest five.|
|Norris||Yeah happy but tell him to push more.||Stallard||Gap to Alonso 1.7, we’re closer now, do you think you can attack Alonso?|
|Ricciardo||I’ll keep you posted. I’ll see how close I can get. But they’re so fast on the straight.|
|44||Joseph||Alonso has said this is all the place he’s got. Daniel’s trying his best.||Stallard||Okay. Alonso said this is his max pace. We really want to get stuck into him, Daniel. We want to get stuck into him. Gap to Lando is now 2.8.|
|45||Norris||Yeah I’m maximum pace mate.||Stallard||Okay. Daniel, I know this is difficult with the speed of the Alpine. Hamilton was able to pass Ocon into turn three.|
|Stallard||You’re doing a good job though DR let’s keep putting the pressure on him. He says he can’t go faster than this. Got six more laps.|
While Ricciardo continued to apply pressure to Alonso, McLaren evidently decided the cause was lost, and elected not to swap their drivers after all:
|46||Joseph||Suggest left-hand toggle for turn five-six.||Stallard||Remember to use top-left toggle if you do get a chance to overtake. Top-left toggle for overtaking.|
|Stallard||Okay Alonso is catching Latifi who’ll get a blue flag. We should be on Latifi sometime next lap. DR I appreciate it is difficult to keep close, could be difficult to pass, but we should just try to keep him under pressure for the last five laps. Keep Alonso under pressure for the last five laps so he can’t make any mistakes. If he makes a mistake, we’re on him.|
|47||Joseph||Lando minor white H4 position one. White H4 position one.||Ricciardo||Yep. Yep, yep.|
Norris was therefore told to hold back:
|48||Joseph||Car in front of Daniel is Latifi, backmarker.||Stallard||Three laps to go, Daniel. Three laps.|
|Joseph||Okay Lando three laps to go. We think Alonso’s too fast. We’re going to hold position.|
|49||Norris||Why hold position?||Stallard||Daniel Lando has been told to hold position. Lando has been told to hold position. Still want to keep pressure on Alonso, if you can.|
|Joseph||We held positions, stint one. We’re returning the favour.||Ricciardo||Yeah I’m trying, just the rears struggle.|
|Norris||Yeah but that was for the strategy. This is for the finishing position.||Stallard||Strat four. Strat four.|
|Joseph||With two laps to go. We don’t think you’ll get him.|
Over the final laps Norris was all over Ricciardo, who had dropped out of DRS range of Alonso. The two McLarens crossed the line separated by just three-tenths of a second, Ricciardo ahead:
|50||Joseph||Lando for pace, for two laps, strat four is best, but you would not have overtake. Strat four is okay.||Stallard||Okay brake balance plus one click, brake balance plus one click.|
|Joseph||Okay Lando there is one lap to go, hold positions, good result for the team, appreciate it.|
|51||Norris||All right, I’ll stay behind him.||Stallard||This is the last lap.|
Both drivers were thanked for playing the team game on the victory lap:
|VL||Joseph||Yellow flags turn one.||Stallard||Yellow flags at turn one. That’s the chequered flag. Yellow flags turn one. Recharge on. P8 Daniel. Well done. A good job from the P12 start. Well done today.|
|Joseph||Okay dude, that’s P9.||Ricciardo||Okay. Understood. Cheers. Yeah, I just struggled with the rear on that medium. Alright, thanks guys.|
|Norris||Well done everyone. Did what we planned to do which is get in the points with both cars. So have to be happy with that. Good job.||Stallard||Copy that. Daniel a lot of the other cars that fitted the medium at the end had similar degradation for that stint. So I don’t think it’s a million miles away. And obviously on both cars we played a team game today as well. And thank you for your part in that.|
|Joseph||Exactly mate. It was the right thing to do for the team. I know you could have done it, well done.||Ricciardo||Understood. Thanks. Also, yeah, thanks for returning the favour. Cheers guys, thank you.|
|Joseph||Normal reminder from me.||Stallard||Okay. Box this lap. And when you get to the FIA you need to turn the car fully off. So kill the engine, wait five seconds and then fully off.|
|Ricciardo||Understood. All righty, I’ll go to power off.|
|Stallard||Cheers, Daniel. Good job. Good job all weekend, good progress.|
Norris’s comments afterwards showed he had not been aware (or had forgotten) that Ricciardo had been told to stay behind him over a period of laps at the start.
“But I boxed the next lap, so there was one lap he stayed behind me and I guess the return favour for him just not overtaking me was for me not to overtake him.”
However, as the radio messages showed, Ricciardo was also told more than once at the beginning of the first stint to stay behind his team mate.
McLaren’s strategy did not work out well for Norris. An earlier first pit stop could have got him ahead of Alonso, and missing the opportunity to pit under the first VSC played into Ricciardo’s hands during the later period.
It was clear Norris was the quicker of the two, as his pursuit of Ricciardo over the final laps showed. “I could have [passed him], I was alongside into turn one and it was a tough decision whether to really choose or not. But I went with what we decided as a team and I stuck with that.
“So it’s tough, he just had the luck of the VSC pit stop and he came out on the medium at the end. I just would have thought he had a bit more pace and could attack Fernando much better. But my pace on the hard was quite a bit stronger.
“So I could have done but as a team I think we just did a good job today. We did what we wanted, which was to finish in the points.”
McLaren have used similar orders in the past, notably last year when Ricciardo was told to let Norris by at Imola. These situations are always likely to leave one driver frustrated, though McLaren communicated the situation clearly to both of them.
How accurately that comes across in the next series of Drive to Survive is another matter.
2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
- Transcript: Why Norris reluctantly complied with McLaren’s Baku team orders
- Montreal is “going to hurt” in stiff 2022 cars say drivers hoping for bouncing fix
- Leclerc was heading to a ‘comfortable win’ before retirement – Ferrari
- F1 should penalise those who ‘obviously’ slow on purpose in qualifying – Norris
- Mercedes admit they pushed set-up “too far” after Hamilton’s Azerbaijan GP agony
17 comments on “Transcript: Why Norris reluctantly complied with McLaren’s Baku team orders”
16th June 2022, 14:39
Whatever, he was more than OK when the roles were reversed in the same race.
16th June 2022, 18:19
Yeah, this didn’t sit well with me at all. Crucially, when Ricciardo was held back by team orders it actually compromised him quite significantly. He got overtaken by Gasly and later failed to be close enough to Alonso to fight him. It was a mistake by Mclaren to hold Ricciardo back, especially on hard tyres. Enforcing team orders towards the end was the right thing to do out of fairness. But it was all dreadful strategy-wise.
16th June 2022, 23:09
Agreed, the strategy of a faster ricciardo on hard staying behind a slower lando on mediums was detrimental for ricciardos chances.
16th June 2022, 15:11
I think the requirement to use two different tyre compounds during a race should be reviewed. Teams should be allowed to use the tyres best suited to their needs to make them competitive.
17th June 2022, 15:32
@johnrkh I disagree, I think it adds more to the race. Otherwise we’d just end up with everyone on the exact same tyre for the whole race as their almost always is a stand-out race tyre. The benefit of starting on a harder compound is that you know you’ll be quicker later in the race, with the removal of this rule, you’ll just see everyone running the same tyre (usually medium) for all the stints.
16th June 2022, 15:47
I think Mclaren did the right thing in both situations, and this is important in terms of helping DR understand he’s still valued by the team. Mercedes have never let Lewis past George even though GR has massively benefitted from Safety Cars etc.
@keithcollantine just a note, from Lap 13 for Norris the Speaker is constantly noted as Joseph, even when it’s Norris’ line.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
16th June 2022, 15:58
Sorry about that I’ll take a look at what’s gone wrong.
16th June 2022, 16:24
Thanks for all the work put in to give us a full race overview of how this developed. It does show that the issue was mostly that neither McLaren was fast enough to get past Alonso!
I was wondering a bit how Norris lost so many positions, but I guess it was just the tyres giving up as much as they did, maybe they should have pitted immediately with Alonso.
Green Flag (@greenflag)
16th June 2022, 16:44
Both drivers are McLaren employees and while they’re getting regular paychecks they must do as they’re instructed.
16th June 2022, 18:12
Norris did not really comply did he? He was closing in all the time even after those radio messages and I think if there was one more lap left he would have launched an attack.
16th June 2022, 20:20
Maclaren are too conservative when it comes to letting their drivers race for position.
Team orders and driver coaching seems to be getting excessive across the board.
17th June 2022, 10:40
F1 has been this way for at least 30 years.
Since about 1989, probably….
16th June 2022, 23:22
In both instances, the McLaren immediately behind Alonso was on yellow tyres. Its great that both drivers complied with team orders, but the team orders should have been to let the faster car through.
I think Daniel could have passed Nando in the first stint and I think Lando would have got past Nando in the second.
17th June 2022, 0:18
No wonder Dan is slow, too busy chatting and being told how to drive!
Didn’t they ban coaching?
17th June 2022, 2:00
Nope, they tried but it was too controversial about what is driver assistance and what information is given for safety reasons.
It was deemed the cars are too complicated to drive without pitwall assistance entirely so the rule was scrapped after just a few races iirc…
17th June 2022, 10:42
They never did, and they never will. Unfortunately – for everyone except the team managers.
17th June 2022, 15:33
What’s wrong with it? Every sport you have the players involved being coached through a game, why is it wrong if it’s the same in F1? Should football also ban coaches from giving any instructions to players?
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