‘Nothing against them’: Lando Norris lambasts Pirelli as he calls for change

Lando Norris finished sixth at the Australian Grand Prix after avoiding the penultimate lap carnage.

Despite having claimed his first points finish of the 2023 F1 season at the Australian Grand Prix last Sunday, Lando Norris had some very powerful words to say about tyre supplier Pirelli, whose tyres he labelled as “pretty terrible”.

Drivers struggling for grip has been a key theme ever since the new aerodynamic regulations were introduced, with tyre blanket temperatures having also been reduced.

As a result, drivers commonly struggle for grip when behind the Safety Car or during the opening laps of a Grand Prix, as seen once again at the Albert Park Circuit.

Norris has blamed Pirelli’s tyres for playing a role in the chaos that pursued at the third standing start of the race, after a second red flag was flown with five laps remaining after Kevin Magnussen crashed.

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At the restart, Carlos Sainz locked-up and hit Fernando Alonso, Logan Sargeant locked-up and hit Nyck de Vries, whilst Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon collided and crashed at Turn Two.

As a result, a third red flag was flown, with Norris having taken aim at the race officials for not taking the drivers grip into consideration when making “decisions” over Safety Cars and red flags.

“Nothing against them, but the people who make decisions don’t know what’s going on inside the car,” Norris said, as reported by Motorsport.com.

“We have a soft [tyre] on that’s 65 degrees [Centigrade] and I can’t describe how little grip there is on track.

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“It’s not a bad temperature. But the tyre doesn’t work and on this surface with this tyre temperature, I can’t describe how bad the grip is.

“That’s why you see everyone going straight on in Turn 1 and locking up… it provides literally no grip, so you have to brake so early, which causes chaos and causes incidents.”

Norris’ main frustration, though, was with Pirelli, who the McLaren driver believes has developed tyres which shouldn’t be “at the top of motorsport”, with them feeling “pretty terrible”.

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“If the tyres felt like they gave us some grip, I think you’d be able to see a good race without chaos and some clumsiness and things like that. It’s just difficult,” Norris said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s clumsy from everyone. It’s just you’re racing and there’s no grip, as simple as that.

“We need a tyre that gives us some more grip and actually a tyre that feels like it should be on a Formula 1 car at the top of motorsport and at the moment, on a day like today, it feels pretty terrible.”