Lando Norris says he won’t dwell on key missed opportunities due to reliability issues which could have made his rookie Formula 1 campaign even greater for McLaren.

The British driver ended his maiden F1 season just outside of the top 10, losing out to Racing Point’s Sergio Perez by three points in the final standings, while his McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz starred with sixth place and almost double his total points tally.

The 20-year-old became one of the more unfortunate drivers struck with reliability woes in 2019 with a handful of strong results slipping away due to mechanical issues.

During the Canadian Grand Prix Norris was struck with early suspension failure while one race later in France the F1 rookie suffered a hydraulics issue which dropped him from seventh place to ninth at the chequered flag.

Arguably his worst mechanical heartache came at the Belgian Grand Prix when he suffered a power loss at the start of the final lap while running in what was set to be his season’s best finish of fifth place.

“The first few I kind of didn’t get so annoyed about and then I had Paul Ricard, Canada and Spa. Then I got a bit more annoyed because it was happening a bit more regularly,” Norris said in Abu Dhabi.

“I had a couple more and it kind of got to the point where I was realising more it was nothing I could change or effect, or even the people around me. It wasn’t our fault. It’s things that happen and mistakes that are made.

“Those few I was quite easily able to forgive but the next lot were then frustrating because with Spa it was [going to be] my best result and then going into Mexico with the pit stop, it was like this happens and I need to move on because there’s nothing I can do.”

Knowing he could have easily finished the year in ninth place, given just five points split him from Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2019, Norris accepts he must mentally reset over the winter as expectations and targets heighten for him ahead of his second season in F1.

“When I look back it has affected a lot of things and points in the championship but a lot of it, not all of it, but a lot of it has been things out of my control and things I cannot change,” he said.

“That’s just something I need to forget and go into next year, something I don’t need to be thinking about.”

 

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