Stella: Heated Norris radio exchange at Dutch GP ‘what champions do’

Lando Norris called the McLaren pitwall 'stupid' during the 2023 Dutch GP


Andreas Stella has defended Lando Norris over his frank radio commentary at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix, after a strategy blunder saw the McLaren driver finish seventh from a front-row start.

Early on at Zandvoort, Norris asked his race engineer Jose Manuel Lopez to pit for intermediates only to be told no, causing the Brit to respond with ‘What the f**k? Are you stupid?…. BOX!”

Norris later admitted the exchange ‘made him look like an idiot’ but ahead of the 2023 Italian GP added Lopez didn’t have a problem with the frank communication.

“At the time Lando made the comment he was obviously frustrated,” Stella told select members of the press, including, at the Italian GP.

“He was frustrated because he realised that we were missing an opportunity by staying out one lap too much because our people misread the situation.

“So Lando was addressing it, this is what champions do. We like this character, you know, we want to be heavily challenged by the driver and we can be heavily challenged because our culture is strong, we can deal with that.

“You know, we’d rather have this kind of challenge rather than a passive driver that just takes everything and it doesn’t contribute to the development of the team. So for us, this, this episode is not a problem at all.”

Stella: Be careful taking Norris’ comments out of context

Andrea Stella speaking to reporters after the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix
Andrea Stella McLaren Team Principal during the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Stella also urged F1 fans and pundits not to judge Norris‘ comments too harshly and remember the high-pressure context in which he gave them.

McLaren enter the Italian GP expecting a more difficult weekend on the low-downforce circuit but are still contenders for the podium and can back Norris to maximise whatever opportunity the MCL60 provides him.

“I think we all also should be careful in extracting a single comment out of context and being over-judgmental about it,” Stella added. “Actually, the view after Zandvoort, has been very constructive and very pleased with reinforcing the culture that we saw in the team and the drivers.”

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


London E-Prix Results 2024 – Formula E Round 16

Pascal Wehrlein emerged victorious in one of the most dramatic races in Formula E history, securing his maiden Drivers'...

Max Verstappen escapes crash penalty: Blames Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen blames Lewis Hamilton for turning in too early for their Hungaroring crash on July 21 as the...

F1 Standings after 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix

Oscar Piastri secured his first Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix amid internal McLaren drama with...

Wehrlein wins 2024 Formula E title after gripping London E-Prix

An unbelievable end to the 2024 Formula E season saw Pascal Wehrlein crowned champion at the London E-Prix after...

Formula E 2024 LIVE: London E-Prix Finale – Wehrlein becomes champion after huge drama

Welcome to this Formula E LIVE BLOG for Round 16 from the 2024 London E-Prix! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...

Norris blames McLaren for team orders debacle: Issues warning

Lando Norris blamed McLaren for the team orders chaos at the 2024 Hungarian GP as he waited until Lap...

F1 2024 Hungarian GP – Fastest Lap

George Russell set the fastest lap of the 2024 Hungarian GP with a 1:20.305 on a weekend when he...

Oscar Piastri Takes Debut F1 Victory at Hungarian GP Amid McLaren Drama

Oscar Piastri has clinched his first-ever Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian GP, after a dramatic race filled...

F1 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix – Race Results

The 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix race weekend took us through the midpoint of the Formula 1 season, and Oscar Piastri took the chequered flag to...

F1 LIVE: 2024 Hungarian GP – Piastri wins after Norris finally follows team orders

Welcome to this F1 Live Blog for the 2024 Hungarian GP! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
- Advertisment -
Exit mobile version