Lando Norris has said he will need to review his start to the Sao Paulo Sprint race after he was too “safe” when challenged by eventual race winner Max Verstappen.

Norris started the Sprint from pole position but lost his lead in the short run to Turn 1 despite a superior initial reaction time from the British driver.

Verstappen out-dragged the McLaren in the second phase of the start and was able to drive his RB19 down the inside of the first corner with ease.

Asked to explain what could have gone wrong, Norris said: “I have to review it. It’s something to look back on. My initial start was good, but my second phase of the launch, maybe I was just a bit conservative.  

“I don’t think I had any wheelspin. I was just a little bit on the safe side. So, things to improve for tomorrow.” 

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60 and George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 battle for position.
04.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sprint Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Norris dropped to third by the end of the opening lap after falling behind Mercedes’ George Russell on the run to Turn 4.

However, he was able to reclaim that position from his compatriot and even closed in on Verstappen for a spell before the Red Bull stretched its legs as tyres began to fade.

“I was caught sleeping a little bit with George on lap one, but the pace was strong after,” Norris reconciled.

“I tried to go after Max but just didn’t have enough. But it was good fun. We’re not fighting necessarily, Max, I think we’re talking about competing against one of the best drivers in one of the best cars that’s ever been in F1

“We’re not going to suddenly be fighting a Red Bull on a track where we almost didn’t expect to be as good as it has been. 

“So many good surprises and a lot of positives for us. Of course tomorrow we’ll try again, but will have to do a little bit more overtaking.” 

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