Lando Norris has admitted that he wasn’t trying to attack Carlos Sainz in the closing laps of the Singapore Grand Prix, despite the fact the McLaren driver was right on his gearbox.
The top four drivers were all incredibly close together across the final few laps, with Norris having used all of his talent to protect second place from George Russell.
Norris had started the race to fourth but initially dropped to fifth, after being overtaken by Lewis Hamilton.
However, Hamilton gave the place back as he overtook the McLaren driver off the circuit, in what was the correct thing to do.
Norris remained in fourth until a Safety Car mid-race, when several drivers completed a pit-stop.
He did well to get ahead of Charles Leclerc in the pits, promoting him onto the podium.
Third became second when Russell and Hamilton pitted during a Virtual Safety Car, in an attempt to use their tyre advantage to win the race.
The Mercedes duo caught Sainz and Norris with ease, but failed to find a way past
In the end, Russell ended up crashing out of the race on the final lap, after clipping the wall on the entry to Turn 10.
Incredibly, Norris also hit the wall on the final lap but managed to escape any serious damage.
It was a truly thrilling end to the race, given that the top three were separated by just 1.2 seconds.
If Norris really wanted to he could’ve potentially challenged Sainz for the victory; however, he admitted after the race that he was prioritising defending second place to be less “vulnerable”.
“It was protecting P2,” Norris said, as reported by F1i.com. “George struggled to overtake me when he had a five or six-tenths advantage.
“So the chances of me getting Carlos with maybe one-tenth advantage, there [was] no chance, so I think Carlos played it smart. There was no need for me to try and attack him.
“The more I attacked him, the more vulnerable I would have been from both the guys behind, and I wouldn’t be sitting here if I played it differently, so a stressful last few laps.
“The last lap, I hit the wall where George also hit the wall, but I hit it with the front, so I panicked a bit, it damaged the steering in terms of it being just off-centre.
“But luckily, it wasn’t anything more than that.”