The final few minutes of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi were sensationally tense due to the arrival of rain with four laps to go, yet with Lando Norris having paid the painful price of not going into the pits to switch to intermediate tyres, McLaren have refused to criticise their young driver.
Norris held the lead going into the final three laps when the conditions turned, but he said he felt that his best chance of winning would come by staying out on the track, although he quickly lost all grip and had to pit anyway.
“Lando was feeling good and wanted to stay out on the slicks, in hindsight, of course it was a wrong decision,” Seidl declared.
“We always have the option to override the driver because we know he doesn’t have all the information, and if we had told him to pit then he would have done.
“He made the decision to keep the slicks and with the information we had it was the right decision, for some reason we didn’t see any more rain coming, and with an opponent so close behind you, you can’t afford to make a mistake.”
Norris was being pursued by Lewis Hamilton, who eventually decided to pit and subsequently won the race, though the pair admitted they did ignore calls from their respective teams.
“My team were great today,” Hamilton said to Norris while in the mixed zone. “But I ignored the first call, I was like, ‘no, he’s right there’.”
Antonio Giovinazzi ran deep into the second chicane bouncing over the kerbs, having ran wide, the Italian got clipped f
It seems Norris was given differing information to that of Hamilton, which prompted the opposite decisions made.
“Until then,” Norris said, “it was dry enough for slicks. What I got told was the rain was going to stay like that. Apparently what you got told was different.”