McLaren chief pinpoints where 2024 Spanish GP was lost

Lando Norris started on pole but lost multiple places before Turn 1, just one of the reasons why McLaren lost the 2024 Spanish GP

-

McLaren‘s team boss they lost the 2024 Spanish GP by Turn 1 as a poor start saw Lando Norris drop from pole to third, costing him valuable time in his pursuit of Max Verstappen at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

McLaren came into the race after taking pole by 0.020 and looked competitive with Red Bull in long-run predictions, and that’s exactly how the race played out as their driver pushed the world champion all the way to the line, where he was beaten by 2.2 seconds.

But as a collective partnership, they lacked the unrelenting consistency and decisiveness of the current championship leaders. McLaren and Norris made crucial blunders costing them the time needed for Norris to beat Verstappen.

One of which was highlighted as the first corner by team principal, Andrea Stella, as he could only watch as McLaren lost the 2024 Spanish GP.

“The win went away from us in the first corner,” Stella told Sky Sports F1 after the race. “In Barcelona, it’s not a surprise you lose from pole position because it’s a long way to Turn 1. I actually appreciate that Lando kept out of problems.

Lando Norris during the 2024 Spanish GP weekend | McLaren
Lando Norris during the 2024 Spanish GP weekend | McLaren

“We wanted to finish the race. We knew the pace was strong. The strategy was strong. I want to praise the guys that prepared the strategy very carefully. We knew here you don’t have to pit too early otherwise you run out of tyres. In the end, we missed out to fight for the victory.”

Norris didn’t get off the line as well as Verstappen and instantly allowed the Red Bull to get its front-left tyre alongside the McLaren’s rear-right, earning the space needed to dive down the inside at Turn 1 to claim second place on the opening lap, despite being squeezed onto the grass too.

Why only second? Because as Norris was focused on fending off Verstappen to his right, a good start by MercedesGeorge Russell allowed him to claim the racing line and use superior speed to go dancing around the outside and into the lead as Norris lost out and dropped to third.

George Russell of Mercedes leads Max Verstappen into Turn 1 at the start of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
George Russell of Mercedes leads Max Verstappen into Turn 1 at the start of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Are Red Bull faster than McLaren?

McLaren have arguably had the quickest car in Formula 1 since the 2024 Miami GP, where Lando Norris claimed his first win of his career at the Miami International Autodrome.

In that time, Verstappen’s failed to take three pole positions and has had to work for all of his wins whilst facing stern tests from Norris in Imola, Canada and now Spain too, leaving the question of whether Red Bull have finally been caught up and maybe even exceeded.

So, what does the McLaren boss think of the conversation?

“I think the two cars are very, very close,” Stella added. “That’s a great achievement for McLaren to talk about being on par with Red Bull, but we want to improve the car.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his podium at the 2024 Spanish GP | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

F1 2026 regulations: Lewis Hamilton urges FIA to consider changes

0
Lewis Hamilton has called on the FIA to reconsider their F1 2026 regulation changes to make sure they benefit...
Ryan Blaney celebrates victory at The Great American Getaway 400 | NASCAR

How cautions helped Ryan Blaney win at Pocono

0
At the NASCAR Cup Series' Gateway race in June, Ryan Blaney's crew chief Jonathan Hassler decided to gamble on...
Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Austrian Grand Prix | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton hints at expanding sports team ownership portfolio amid MotoGP takeover links

0
Lewis Hamilton played it cool over rumours he's looking to buy the Grissini MotoGP team but revealed he does...
Max Verstappen in the F1 paddock ahead of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen coy on 2026 Red Bull Ford engine competitiveness after confirming future team

0
Max Verstappen refused to give too much insight into his expectations for the Red Bull Ford engine that will...
Alex Bowman celebrates victory at the 2024 Chicago Street Race | NASCAR

How rain strategy helped Alex Bowman end his drought in Chicago

0
Alex Bowman and his job with Hendrick Motorsports was never really in question as his contract runs through the...
Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

0
Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

0
Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

0
Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

0
Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

0
Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
- Advertisment -