“Both our drivers could have won” Zak Brown says McLaren “got it wrong” after Norris and Piastri miss out at

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38

 

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Zak Brown believes that Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri could both have potentially won the British Grand Prix, with the McLaren CEO stating that the team “got it wrong” in some of the key decisions taken during the wet/dry race.

While the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton initially led from the front row, Norris and Piastri started to catch up just as the rain was beginning to fall at Silverstone, and by Lap 20 there was a McLaren one-two at the front of the field.

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When the time came to switch to the intermediate tyre, Piastri was left on track for an extra lap while Norris pitted, with the squad keen to avoid losing time in a double stack situation. However, the Australian had to be cautious on an increasingly wet track, losing further seconds en route to the pits.

Norris, meanwhile, managed to hold onto the lead, but the picture changed when teams were faced with the call of when to return to the slick tyres. The Briton pitted one lap later than rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen and, after a slow pit stop from McLaren for the soft compound, emerged back on track behind Hamilton.

Verstappen – looking quick on the hard tyre – then overtook Norris for P2, meaning that the 24-year-old ended the race in third, while Piastri was five seconds behind his team mate in fourth.

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Asked about the process of making those tough decisions on the pit wall, Brown explained after the race: “It was tough. Hindsight’s 20/20, as they say. I think we ultimately got it wrong. I think both our drivers could have won there. They did an excellent job.

“When you’re leading the race, you also have to kind of take the first decision, so it’s a little bit easier to key off of what others did, when early on Lando and Oscar were right next to each other.

READ MORE: ‘I blame myself today’ – Norris rues ‘not making right decisions’ after missing out on Silverstone win

“Obviously [if you] double stack them you’re going to lose about five seconds – turns out Oscar lost a lot more time because the track was deteriorating, so losing the five seconds there would have been a better call but, again, you don’t really know because you’re the lead car, so you’re going to be the first to find out the weather.

“And then there at the end, I think maybe mediums would have been a better strategy, as we saw on Oscar. Oscar was absolutely flying there, Max was flying on the hards, and softs were going to struggle. We had a set of mediums, so we’ll just go back and review it.

“I think the upside is we got more points than all of our competitors, we were on the podium, it was an exciting race. Big congratulations to Lewis – [he’s an] awesome champion, so [it’s] good to see him win at his home race.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Third placed Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren and 4th

Piastri and Norris missed out on taking victory at the British Grand Prix

Pushed on whether Norris had been left out for one lap too many when it came to his final stop, Brown responded: “We’ll have to do a debrief on that. We had a slow stop and he came out a couple of seconds behind Lewis, and we were a couple of seconds slow in the pit stop.

“We’ll have to go back and look, I think it’s too early to tell on that but we certainly lost some time with the slow stop.”

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Despite missing out on a victory at Silverstone, McLaren continued to show that they have the potential to win races. As such, Brown acknowledged that the team will focus on perfecting their strategy calls going forwards in order to get things right when the possibility of a win is there.

“I think you’ve got to be great at everything to win in Formula 1 with the level of competition,” he added. “Mercedes and Red Bull have been doing a lot of winning and championships, and we’ve got a car now that’s capable of racing for the championship.

“We need to make sure every aspect of what we do is, as Andrea [Stella] says, world championship material. We didn’t get it right this time, we’ve gotten it right plenty of other times – we’ll learn from it, we’ll get ready for Hungary.”

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