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Lando Norris

Norris fightback triggers iconic Alonso memory

Lando Norris started 17th but roared back to finish in fifth place in the Mexico City Grand Prix. It reminded McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella of one of Fernando Alonso's greatest wins when both were at Ferrari.

Norris US
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has compared Lando Norris' fightback at the Mexico City Grand Prix to Fernando Alonso's iconic 2012 European Grand Prix victory.

Norris started 17th in Mexico following a poor qualifying where a mistake, ill-timed yellow flag and fuel system problem conspired to put him out in Q1.

But a strong opening half of the race, where he started on Softs before making an early pit stop to perform an undercut, saw Norris climb to 10th by the time red flags were waved following Kevin Magnussen's crash.

A botched restart meant he lost five positions, but in the 35 laps after, he climbed up to fifth, including robust manoeuvres on Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell.

Stella was Alonso's race engineer at Ferrari in 2012 when he stormed through the field in the final Grand Prix to be held in Valencia to take an emotional win in front of his home Spanish crowd and the Italian could see similarities between the two drives.

Stella heaps praise on Norris

"With so many overtakes, in Mexico where it is so difficult to overtake, while managing power unit temperatures, having to do lift and coast, I am just impressed," Stella told media including RacingNews365.

"It is one of the best races for a driver that I have been part of.

"It made me think of Valencia 2012 where we started 11th and then won the race.

"For this race, we are excited to have seen this kind of masterpiece, but on the other side, like Lando said on the in-lap: 'Come on guys, let's do a good job on Saturday and then we can fight for podiums. The pace was there.

"There is a little element of frustration, but at the same time, if you had asked me [after qualifying], I would never have thought we could have overtaken so many cars.

"I'd rather take the positive out of this race and hope that the entire team at the factory and all the fans received the same sort of message as we did. We don't give up. We are competitive, but we need to do a better job overall over a race weekend."


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