MUST-SEE: Watch Lando Norris's dramatic final lap in France in full
The French Grand Prix weekend is not one Lando Norris will forget in a hurry. After a superb run to fifth in qualifying, the British rookie looked to be cruising to an excellent P7 finish behind McLaren team mate Carlos Sainz – that is until a hydraulic issue kicked in and set him on course for a dramatic finale…
Norris’s issues became apparent when he reported issues changing gear. He was then told not to use his DRS – the rear wing flap also being hydraulically controlled. Finally, as Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo loomed large in his wing mirrors, chased by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and the other Renault of Nico Hulkenberg, he was warned his differential would start to make his car unstable and his steering would become heavy.
Even with all those issues to contend with, Norris, who was voted Driver of the Day by fans, was still clinging onto P7 as he began the final lap – but under braking for Turn 8, Ricciardo launched an attack around the outside. The Australian briefly ran off-track in the process, and as he re-joined Norris ran off the road, dropping further positions to Raikkonen and Hulkenberg.
When the power steering started to go, it wasn't the nicest thing...
He eventually crossed the line in P10, his last-ditch move on Hulkenberg also failing to pay off, although a stewards’ investigation into Ricciardo’s pass may yet see him classified higher.
“[The problem] was getting worse,” commented Norris of the issues he had to contend with. “It was still driveable but it was getting harder and harder to drive. Turn 11 (the long radius right hander) in an F1 car, that's where you need power steering and when it started to go, it wasn't the nicest thing.
"It didn't get quite to the point where it was really limiting me but there were braking problems, shifting problems which weren't good at all to have.
“I don't know, it was a tough race, Carlos still got points for the team and I still got one point which I can be happy with.”