Lando Norris has downplayed the heated radio discussions that took place between him and the team at the Dutch Grand Prix last month.
Norris, who had started the race on the front row, was adamant that he wanted to pit for Intermediates when a rain shower hit the track on Lap 1, but McLaren, like Mercedes and Williams, elected to stay out.
With the rain intensity increasing and Norris being passed by a series of cars that had already made the early switch to discard the slick tyres, Norris hit back at his race engineer’s instruction to remain on track, asking: “What the f***, are you stupid?”
The Briton eventually opted to come in at the end of the third lap – however, he had been shuffled to the back of the pack, eventually recovering to seventh by the end.
Norris admits that some radio discussions that are broadcast make him “look like an idiot”, believing the situation was overblown.
Asked if the early stages at Zandvoort showcased that the driver’s input needs to be listened more to in tricky conditions, Norris said on Thursday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix: “Yeah, we just spoke about it a bit now. And, as always, there’s been a few days of reviewing things, and making sure we look at things first.
“I always say things that I never… when you look at it after you always think… I always make myself look like an idiot and you, know that I would never mean something like that, of course. So, it’s more that we made some mistakes with our calls and our strategy and things like that.
“A bit of it is just emotions at the time. I think I said it the other day, like I always sound like I’m crying or moaning on the radio. I don’t know why. I hate it but I feel like I’m really relaxed and chilled in the car but then I’m always the opposite when I listen to myself afterwards.
“So, yeah, there’s just always discussions, I guess, there’s always things that you’re trying to tell them and information that you’re trying to get. It’s just a couple of times when the information was not to the level it should have been – clearly. Then yeah, I guess it gets a little frustrating a couple of times. But stuff we’ve reviewed… it definitely won’t happen again.”
However, Norris has denied that he needs to become less vocal on the radio, insisting that McLaren understands his character to acknowledge it’s never a personal attack.
Pressed on whether he needs to make changes to how he approaches discussing matters with his team, Norris responded: “No, my team knows. People always judge things from the outside and like to make comments, but the team know how I work and how we say things and so forth.
“I’m not denying… I think at that time I was a bit frustrated with what I was getting told and things like that. I’m not denying at times, and also in the past, when you’re under pressure it gets a bit stressful at times, then I maybe don’t sound the most relaxed. But a lot of the time I am, and it maybe doesn’t come across that way, especially if you’re on the outside, listening to things.
“The team know how I work, and when I’m performing well, and when I’m not and they know how I work. Simple as that. As long as they know that, and I know how they do things and how they speak to me and how we interpret things, that’s all that’s, from my side, what’s needed.
“From what people see from the outside, I care, but in a way, I don’t care, because I’m doing my job and I just do that the best I can.”