McLaren: Combination of cold tyres and bump “might have surprised” Norris in F1 Las Vegas GP crash

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Andrea Stella has stated a number of factors caused Lando Norris to crash out on lap 3 of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Photo credit: McLaren Racing

Starting P15 after a very disappointing qualifying for the Woking-based team, the British driver had gained two places as he avoided the chaos that was turn 1 on the opening lap.

However, his day would come to an early end in a big way as a hefty crash at turn 11 saw Norris’ MCL60 initially slide down the wall and end up in the run-off before turn 12. He lost the rear of the car and it let go on him.

McLaren’s Italian team principal explained a bump in the high-speed sweeper and a lack of temperature in the tyres following a VSC to clear debris contributed to it.

“There’s a bump in that place. And 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.

Stella has called for that bump to be removed should they continue to race at 22:00 local time on a Saturday for the foreseeable future.

“I think that bump, if we carry on racing at night time, 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.”

Onboard footage showed Norris was going flat through turn 11. But on high fuel, with cold tyres and hitting the bump, the car couldn’t handle it and bottomed out.

Stella continued: “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.”

Norris was taken to hospital as a precaution but was cleared and is fine for the Abu Dhabi GP. The Brit explained what happened.

“An unfortunate end to our Las Vegas GP weekend. I just bottomed out on the restart, lost the rear and hit the wall.

“Not the way we wanted the weekend to end, especially considering the pace looked promising on Oscar’s side.

“Big thanks go to the medical staff for checking me over, and to the team for the work they’ll now put in on the car. One week to reset and go again for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.”

Ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Norris is 5 points behind Sainz and Alonso in the fight for P4 in the Drivers’ Championship, with McLaren only 11 points clear of Aston Martin for the same spot in the Constructors’ Championship.