Horner expresses surprise at McLaren after crucial error in Canadian GP

Christian Horner was surprised by McLaren’s decision to delay Lando Norris’ switch to slick tires at the Canadian Grand Prix, believing Red Bull made the “crucial” decision.

As the track dried after the rains, the timing of the switch from intermediate to slick tires was key, with Max Verstappen pitting, alongside George Russell at the end of lap 45.

Norris extended two laps, reaching the end of lap 47, but although he emerged from Turn 2 in the lead, the restless McLaren was unable to reduce power due to lack of temperature when Verstappen passed and was relatively calm thereafter. , recording his 60th grand prix victory.

Norris would finish second ahead of Russell, as Horner spoke of the advantage McLaren had given Verstappen by delaying Norris’ stop.

“The pit stops came (for the new intermediates) and we moved on to another new set of intermediates, and with the safety car to neutralize everything, we made adjustments to put ourselves in a better position as we were prepared for wet conditions.” Horner said to the media, including RacingNews365.

“Then it was about making that crossover (on slicks) at the right time, because the first sector was quite wet when you came out of the pit lane, and obviously you lose a lot of temperature.”

“We timed the change to the medium tire well, and although Lando was able to take advantage enough to extend the gap to 22 seconds, obviously every lap we did with the tires (slicks) warming up, I was surprised that they didn’t cover it after one lap and it left out for two.

“That was crucial as he gave Max another lap to build up the temperature, so when Lando came into the pits, Max had the tires in the window and was able to overtake him and make up a three-second gap at the end of sector one, so That moment was crucial.”

It was the second time during the race that Norris turned a longer lap than Verstappen or Russell, and the first was during the safety car for Logan Sargeant’s accident on lap 25.

Red Bull and Mercedes, almost seven seconds behind Norris when the safety car was deployed, were able to pit while Norris made another lap and collected the safety car at Turn 5.

McLaren judged the fine margins as to why he was unable to stop Norris, but Horner felt McLaren could have been more proactive when pitting.

This delay for Norris pushed Verstappen into the lead, something he would only lose again during the two laps Norris led during the second pit stop cycle for the switch to slick tires.

“We would have gone in when the tires were toast and we knew it was going to rain,” Horner explained of the pit stop under Sargeant’s safety car.

“All the information was that it was going to rain, so we were surprised that they didn’t overtake it, to be honest, as it looked like there was going to be a safety car.”

“But it’s kind of revenge, and I think Gianpiero Lambiase made the comment, which I felt was 40 laps too soon, that that’s how safety cars work and it was revenge for Miami.”