McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has explained how the team
chucked everything it had at Max Verstappen after the Sao Paulo
Grand Prix restart through Lando Norris. Norris started the race
from sixth on the grid but had a strong start to move into second
place, passing Fernando Alonso in the space second-place starter
Charles Leclerc should have been before his formation lap crash.
The red flags were then thrown for the Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen
incident at Turn 1, with Norris taking the standing restart second
on the grid, fending off a challenge from Lewis Hamilton. Although
he got near to Verstappen during the early stages, the Red Bull
driver easily pulled away, going on to win by eight seconds as
Norris scooped a fourth second place in the last six races.
Reflecting on the result, Stella explained how the team went for
broke at the restart to try and challenge Verstappen, a winner of
17 of 20 Grands Prix this season. McLaren ‘tried hard’ to catch
Verstappen through first stint “I think certainly in terms of our
approach, especially after the red flag, we wanted to win it,”
Stella told media including RacingNews365. “So we put, at the
start, our best set of Softs on, we decided to start on a new set
so that we could try and take the lead. “From there, [we hoped to
maybe] put Verstappen in an unusual position and see what we could
do, maybe we can just cover any time he pits, and so on. “We
couldn’t take the lead at the start, we went very close to doing
that on track [but could not].” Stella confirmed that McLaren tried
all it could to reel in the Red Bull driver later in the race but
was forced to concede defeat. “After that, our tyres started to
overheat,” Stella said. “We needed to make sure we achieved our
target lap because [Fernando] Alonso wasn’t that far [behind]. “It
seemed like he could stay with us, but certainly, we tried hard in
the first stint. “I think after that Verstappen had enough of a
lead to actually manage the situation. “Any time we tried to go to
get a little closer, even there were a few laps in which the second
stint in which we seemed like to go [fast], he put together a
couple of mega laps. “After the first stint that wasn’t very much
that we could do.”

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