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MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: Here’s how Norris could have won the Spanish Grand Prix

Special Contributor

Mark Hughes
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McLaren’s attempt to win Lando Norris the Spanish Grand Prix floundered on a strategic trap that was placed in within seconds of the start.

Despite starting from pole, Norris came out of the first turn in third place. Crucially, his only rival for pace, Max Verstappen, was ahead of him. George Russell was ahead of them both.

READ MORE: Norris claims he ‘should have won’ Spanish GP after tardy race start ‘ruined everything’

With Verstappen able to put an early pass on Russell, Norris was stuck at the Mercedes' pace while Verstappen pulled himself out of undercut range without overworking his tyres. That allowed Verstappen and Red Bull to control the race against a McLaren which was at least as quick – and which Norris himself actually reckoned was faster – than the Red Bull.

Once Russell pitted out of his way, Norris stepped up the pace by over 1s per lap and quickly began closing down Verstappen. But that early cushion Russell had helped give them allowed Red Bull to pit Verstappen in plenty of time to foil any Norris undercut attempt.

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