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Norris rues 'unlucky' first lap collision with Hamilton but says Spanish GP went 'as expected' after lowly P17 finish

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 03: Third placed qualifier Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren looks

Lando Norris finished this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix down in 17th, but the McLaren driver insists his race went “just as expected” believing his team are not yet quick enough to battle for points on a Sunday.

Norris qualified in a season-high third but suffered front-wing damage on the first lap after making contact with the rear left tyre on the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. That coming together forced him to pit and run down at the back of the field for the rest of the afternoon.

READ MORE: Verstappen cruises to Spanish GP win ahead of Hamilton and Russell as he extends championship lead

When asked what he made of the incident with Hamilton, Norris believed it was an “unlucky” incident but insisted that, regardless of the collision on Lap 1, he would have struggled to finish in the top-10.

“Just as expected,” said Norris, when asked how his race went. “We knew we were going to be slow and it was difficult to get in the points. Our target was to try and get into the points today, whether that was ninth or 10th or something.

“Obviously Lap 1 cost us everything but, at the same time, we would have been unlikely to finish in the top 10 today. I guess everyone’s expectations were too high after yesterday.

2023 Spanish Grand Prix: Norris forced to pit for new nose after contact with Hamilton on Lap 1

“We tried to manage as much as we could but, at the same time, today was the pace that we’ve had all year and we were just normal paced. Yesterday was, I don’t know, unknown, a special day for us. As expected today.”

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When asked to look ahead to Canada and what his expectations will be for the race in Montreal, Norris responded: “Nothing different. We are probably like the seventh quickest car, eighth quickest car.

“We are not even fighting for points at that rate, so we're just going to have to keep working hard and keep our heads down, simple as that.”

Oscar Piastri: Race day was ‘back to reality’ for McLaren after impressive qualifying

Team mate Oscar Piastri did not fare much better with the rookie driver taking the chequered flag in 13th place, and he says McLaren have been brought "back to reality" after both drivers started the race in the top 10.

“Disappointing afternoon, didn’t have a very good first lap from myself and then I guess I had not a lot of pace after that,” said Piastri.

READ MORE: ‘I did my absolute best’ says ‘gutted’ Sainz as he misses out on a home podium

“Tricky afternoon, we need to understand why, because it did cool down a bit, which we liked, but we didn’t have enough pace. So, we need to have a look at why we weren’t quick enough today.”

“I think yesterday was a very good performance. From the team, I think today was probably more back to reality. Just need to understand why we struggled. On Sundays when the track is a bit hotter and stuff like that, we will go and have a look.”

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