Norris pokes fun at Russell after Monaco battle

Lando Norris and George Russell were side-by-side as they headed up Beau Rivage hill in Monaco, with the Mercedes coming out on top.

Lando Norris has affirmed that George Russell’s pass on him in Monaco was not all that after the 24-year-old described their battle as “dicey.”

In changing conditions, Russell got the undercut on his compatriot having started one place behind him in sixth and, when Norris pitted, the pair found themselves on the same but of race track.

Russell would then cut underneath the 22-year-old on the exit of Turn One, and he out-dragged the McLaren to take P5, where he would finish the race.

READ: Red Bull respond to claim they won’t allow Perez to challenge Verstappen for the championship

“It was a bit close with Lando on the pit exit there, I don’t know if you guys saw it,” Russell told Sky Sports.

“He came out in front of me on the pit exit, I was behind and then he went to the left and I sort of went on the wet stuff.

“It felt pretty dicey from within the car for Monaco in damp conditions but [it was] obviously not good enough for the TV producer so next time!”

Norris disagrees with the notion that the overtake was “dicey,” as he affirms he was battling the Mercedes driver on cold tyres compared to Russell’s already rubbered in set.

“That was supposed to be mega?” he joked.

Article continues below

“I mean, if that was a mega overtaking move, then he did a few s****e overtaking moves before that!”

The Briton stated that he was “frustrated” rather than “impressed” with Russell’s move.

Norris losing P5 in Monaco was a result of McLaren pitting him later than Russell, and he was then told to conserve his tyres when running behind him in the latter stages.

This baffled the six-time podium finisher, as he had over 30 seconds back to the Alpine of Fernando Alonso, meaning that if he did wear out his set of tyres pushing the 24-year-old, he could easily just pit for fresh ones.

While he maintains that there is some polishing to be done on race strategy, Norris recognises that picking up nine points with the fastest lap on a very difficult afternoon was still a very good result for the team.

“It was a good race, even if we lost position to the Mercedes, that sometimes happens in these conditions, because you can just take the risk of a to pit earlier than one lap,” said the Bristol-born racer.

“There are definitely things that we need to talk about as a team. I don’t think we’ve done a perfect job on strategy, for example. 

“But they did it for a good reason and usually they do a very good job. So I’m not complaining, we just have a bit of work to do.”

After he was done mocking his good friend Russell, Norris acknowledged that the Mercedes driver had performed well.

“It’s also fair to say that George did a good job too,” he explained.

READ: Aston Martin boss opens up on Vettel’s motivation to remain in Formula 1 

“But otherwise we made the most of it, with the fastest lap and the pace at the end. I think we still lack the race pace a bit, especially when we have to take care of the tyres.”

Russell’s P5 last weekend means that he has finished all of the opening seven races of the season in the top five.