Lando Norris concedes that a points finish at the Spanish Grand Prix was unlikely even if he had avoided damage on the opening lap.
At Turn 2, Norris tipped the rear of Lewis Hamilton’s car which damaged the McLaren driver’s front wing.
Hamilton was able to escape without a puncture, but Norris was forced into the pit lane to change his front wing, demoting him to the rear of the field.
It marked a disappointing start to the grand prix after he lined up in third place following an exceptional performance in qualifying.
Reflecting on the incident, Norris said: “Everyone just checked up, I was on the inside. It was just racing. Just unlucky, that was all.”
Norris ended the race in 17th place, far from the prospect of walking away with points.
However, the Briton believes that McLaren didn’t have the race pace to contest inside the top 10, suggesting he would’ve dropped down the order regardless.
“It [the race] was as expected,” he said. “We knew we were going to be slow and difficult to get in the points.
“Our target was to try and be in the points today, whether that was ninth or 10th or something. Lap one cost us everything but at the same time it would’ve been unlikely to finish in the top 10 today.
“I guess everyone’s expectations were too high after yesterday. We tried to manage as much as we could but at the same time, today was the pace we’ve had all year.
“Yesterday was just an unknown, special day for us. But it was as expected today.”
With the Canadian Grand Prix next on the calendar, Norris highlighted that McLaren will not adopt a different approach after a difficult outing in Barcelona.
“Nothing different,” he said, when asked how he’ll repair for the Montreal round. “We’re probably the seventh quickest car, eighth quickest car.
“We’re not fighting for points at that rate, just have to keep working hard, keep our heads down.”