Lando Norris started third but finished seventh in Italy, and the McLaren driver predicted a top-five finish at Monza.
Norris began the race in third place, but a slow start dropped him to sixth. The Briton then had a long first stint on the medium tyre before pitting from P5, but a lengthy pit stop dropped him behind Lewis Hamilton, before another stop under the Safety Car dropped Norris to P7.
MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: Verstappen’s three key factors in winning the Italian Grand Prix
“There were some mistakes with the launch settings, things that I couldn’t change or adapt, so I was dealing with a car that wasn’t made to do a launch basically,” Norris said of his slow start.
“That meant I had to go into anti-stall two or three times, which cost me a lot of time and positions and probably cost me fifth place today.” So, I’m a little disappointed, no, quite disappointed, because I felt like I did a good job and drove well, but we just made too many mistakes.”
Norris was disappointed after his McLaren’s launch settings issue cost him fifth place.
Norris sounded irritated on the radio as he requested radio silence near the end of the Grand Prix. However, the McLaren driver insisted that he was “relaxed” and aiming for a better result.
Verstappen wins his first Italian Grand Prix behind the Safety Car, while Leclerc is forced to settle for P2.
“I mean, I was relaxed,” Norris explained. “I perform better when I am relaxed and chilled.” Of course, all you want is to be able to be in your zone, concentrate, and do your thing. So, we would have finished P6 if there hadn’t been a Safety Car, and then we boxed, which was possibly another mistake.
“It’s just that I’m really good at driving, so little things like updates on gaps are unnecessary when there are five laps to do.” I was at ease, and I felt like I was doing a good job; I just don’t like it when people talk to me.”
Norris was pleased that he was able to make it past Fernando Alonso on track
“I think the fact that I got past Fernando [Alonso], he got me on the restart; I got back passed him on just pure pace,” Norris said of the race on Sunday. Especially after Friday – they appeared to be stronger than us on Friday, but today we definitely appeared to be stronger than [Alpine].
“Some positives: we tried a few new things this weekend, and some of them seem to have worked out.” So, hopefully, there are things to look forward to if we can improve on that for the rest of the season.”
McLaren is only 18 points behind Alpine, who did not score in Italy, after picking up six points from Monza.