After Lando Norris’s dramatic crash in his McLaren MCL60 F1 car during Lap 4 of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the spotlight shifted to McLaren’s team principal, Andrea Stella. Stella wasted no time in calling for a track modification right at the spot where Norris’s incident occurred, citing it as a potential contributing factor to the young British driver’s loss of control.
The weekend proved to be a challenging one for Norris, and it’s safe to say it’s not an experience he’d like to reminisce about in the future. The pivotal moment came at turn 11 when Norris grappled with the steering wheel, ultimately losing control of his McLaren F1 car. The result? A heart-stopping spin that sent him careening into the unforgiving barriers before the car eventually came to a halt in the escape area.
Thankfully, Norris emerged from the wreckage unscathed, a testament to the safety measures in Formula 1. However, in the aftermath of such a high-speed collision, precautionary checks were deemed necessary, leading to Norris being transported to a nearby hospital. The anxious wait for news on his condition was eventually put to rest when McLaren confirmed that Norris had been discharged without any significant problems.
The unexpected and puzzling crash left many questions swirling in the air. Nonetheless, Stella swiftly clarified that the harrowing accident was not a result of a car malfunction. He reassured the media, saying:
“There’s a bump in that place.
“You can see all cars sparkle when they go through this bump. I think the combination of the bump and the cold tyres might have surprised him.”
The team leader emphasized the urgency of addressing the bump ahead of next year’s Grand Prix. He emphasized:
“I think that bump, if we carry on racing at nighttime, should be fixed, because the tyres will always be cold, low grip and it becomes a very tricky corner.
“Already during the weekend, we saw cases of oversteer in that place. So, independently of the timetable, we would strongly recommend that this bump is smoothened out.”
Amidst the grip challenges faced by numerous drivers, Stella opined that Norris found himself in a precarious situation due to the colder temperatures, the weight of a full fuel load, and the potential aerodynamic disruption caused by his teammate, Oscar Piastri, who was just ahead. He elaborated:
“In fairness, it’s the same bump for everyone, so it just depends on your speed.
“The condition of your tyres, potentially how your car is positioned there, how close you are to the car ahead. There are multiple factors. Maybe Lando made a kind of assumption that there was enough grip.”