"I could have finished eighth if I was a bit more of a rebel" - Lando Norris has no regrets on playing the team game for McLaren

Lando Norris was ordered to hold position behind Daniel Ricciardo in the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP
Lando Norris was ordered to hold position behind Daniel Ricciardo in the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP

Lando Norris and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo were stuck in a battle against each other during the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP.

In the initial stages of the race, the Australian was the faster driver but was stuck behind Norris. He was, however, ordered by the team to stay behind the Briton for the duration of the first stint.

When the tire situation was reversed towards the end of the race, it was Norris who was attacking his teammate but was told to stay behind Ricciardo to repay the Australian's favor.

📻"Understood. Thanks for returning the favour."Daniel Ricciardo's post-race team radio message after being thanked by his McLaren race engineer for playing the team game with Lando Norris#F1 #BakuGP

After the race, Lando Norris admitted he was being a team player when he didn't try and attack Daniel Ricciardo towards the end of the race. He said:

“I think I’m a team player. I accepted I can’t overtake at the end and I couldn’t go for the position. Daniel helped me out in the middle. It was one lap he wasn’t allowed to overtake me on. If the return favor is to not overtake at all in the last three laps, I guess I have to accept it. I think it’s fair. I don’t think what we did was incorrect. It’s just you’re racing, you always want to push it, you always want to find what the limit of it is. But I could have done it when I was at the inside into Turn 1 and I gave way to him and then let him through.”

Norris then claimed that had he been a bit of a rebel within the team, he would have finished P8, saying:

“I could have finished eighth if I was a bit more of a rebel. I accept what we did as a team, I think what we did was strong. Our aim was to be in the points with both cars and that’s exactly what we did, so I’m happy with that. I think if you’re fighting for a championship or something or top three, maybe it will be slightly different. But at the minute, we just want to be high as a team. I accept that’s the priority over anything else.”

The goal is to win one day: Lando Norris

Lando Norris admitted that the goal of the team, for now, was to score the most points possible. He claimed that if he has to grow with the team and fulfill his goal of winning one day, then this is the best possible path for him. The 22-year-old said:

“Maybe for pride, you want to finish higher in the championship as a driver, but it honestly doesn’t change too much if I finished eighth, ninth, seventh, sixth. My goal is to win one day, therefore I think still the quickest way of doing that is to race well as a team and get the maximum points as a team. And that’s what I did today.”
Always pushing to the limit, but we got the points today and won't stop going until we're at the top

Norris is currently 7th in the drivers' standings with 50 points, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo is 13th with 15 points.

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Edited by Anurag C
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