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Formula 1 Austrian GP

Norris explains why anti-stall kicked in during Austria F1 sprint race

Lando Norris says “unlucky” circumstance in hitting the brakes as his rear wheels lost grip triggered the anti-stall that wrecked his hopes in Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix sprint race.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

The McLaren driver had headed into Saturday’s sprint as Red Bull’s potential main challenger after qualifying third behind Max Verstappen and Sergio PerezBut it all went wrong at Turn 3, as an opportunity to pounce on his Red Bull rivals nearly tripping over themselves evaporated when his car went into anti-stall and delayed him.

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Norris did not know at the time of the incident exactly what had happened, but data that emerged in the engineering debrief later highlighted the specifics of what happened. 

Asked by Motorsport.com to explain why the anti-stall came in, Norris said: “It's more that I lost the rear as I turned into the corner, just because the tyres are cold and it's a bit difficult to get the inters to work straight away.

“So I lost the rear and kind of slid further up the track and almost into them [the Red Bulls]. To avoid that, I had to hit the brakes again and, at such a slow speed with basically zero grip, I locked the rear tyres quite a bit, putting me into the anti-stall. 

Lando Norris, McLaren

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“It was just more of a very unlucky situation than I think anything being a problem from what I'm aware of. And that's literally it. I think it was just unlucky at the time. I didn't feel like I went in too hard, I didn't feel like I overshot. I just turned in, I lost the rears with cold tyres on the first lap, and that is how it happens sometimes.” 

He added: “It was unfortunate, because it cost me the rest of the race, as we had a chance to score some good points and probably fight the Astons I would say throughout the whole race.” 

Despite the disappointment with the result of the sprint race, Norris says the weekend overall has been encouraging so far with him having made the most of an extensive overhaul of his McLaren. 

“I think it’s performed as expected from the first run in FP1,” he said. “That is always a positive sign that we can make something and develop something, with the confidence of knowing that it works well. That’s always a very good thing to have, especially on a weekend like this where you have FP1 and go straight into quali.”

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