Lando Norris says his crash in second Formula 1 practice for the Tuscan Grand Prix felt “a lot worse” than it looked after escaping without major damage on his McLaren.
Norris was the first driver to suffer a crash during practice at Mugello on Friday ahead of the track’s inaugural grand prix, spinning out during FP2.
Norris ran wide at the exit of Poggiosecco, dipping a wheel into the gravel that caused him to lose control and spin into the wall on the right-hand side of the track.
The McLaren driver quickly reported that he was OK, but did not think he would be able to get the car back to the pits. The crash resulted in a red flag while his car was cleared.
It brought an early day to Norris’ day and left him 14th overall in the second practice classification with just nine laps completed in the afternoon.
“It felt a lot worse when I was in the car than what it looks like,” Norris said.
“I think there is some damage a bit to the steering and maybe the rear, but nothing major luckily. I don’t think I damaged too much the floor or the wings, apart from the front wing obviously.
“It’s not terrible, it could have been worse, so I’m lucky. But it was a small mistake from my side which was quite costly, cost me all of the high-fuel running in FP2.
“It is what it is, and I need to try and make up for it tomorrow.”
Despite his crash, Norris said he preferred circuits such as Mugello where there was not masses of run-off areas that meant mistakes such as his went unpunished.
“As much as I hate there was gravel, because of ending up crashing and damaging the car, it’s better like this,” Norris said.
“I think it’s more tricky, but it’s more challenging, and I think that’s what it should be like.”
Norris reported that the tarmac was more slippery than McLaren had anticipated, but was enjoying the physical challenge posed by the fast-flowing layout.
“It’s fast, good fun, very tricky,” Norris said.
“The tarmac here seems very slippery, so a lot of people are struggling and so are we. We were expecting to be quite a bit quicker than what we are doing, just because we were expecting the track to be much grippier.
“It feels quite slippery with the tyres we have, and it makes our life very difficult in the car and for the mechanics and engineers to set up the car.
“It’s probably a bit trickier than we were expecting, but it’s a good challenge in this car, very fast, very high speed. Quite physical but it’s a good, fun challenge.”
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