However, Stella, who formerly was a race engineer to two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso at Ferrari, has downplayed Norris’ remark, citing that McLaren wants to be challenged by its drivers.
“So, at the time Lando made the comment that I understand was broadcast, he was obviously frustrated,” Stella reflected when questioned about the incident.
“He was frustrated because he realised that we were missing an opportunity by staying out one lap too much. And this is because the pit wall misread the situation. So Lando was addressing it. This is what champions do. We like this character.
“You know, we want to be heavily challenged by the driver. And we can be heavily challenged because our culture is strong. We can bear with that, you know.
“We’d rather have this kind of challenge rather than a passive driver that just takes everything and doesn’t contribute to the development of the team.
“So for us this episode is not a problem at all. I think we all also should be careful in extracting a single comment out of context and being over-judgmental about it.
“Actually, the review after Zandvoort has been very constructive and I’m very pleased with the, again, reinforcing the culture that we saw in the team and the drivers.”
When asked whether a line has been drawn to ensure neither of its drivers ends up demotivating the team with repetitive negative comments over team radio, Stella said: “In terms of the motivation… You know, I talked about culture before and this means that you have awareness of what racing is, you have awareness of how you should take drivers’ comments, and just make use of it, as long as they are constructive and just dismiss all the rest.
“We are very aware of that and Lando himself, he is aware that he came across as tough to the team but then he dealt with it immediately after the race, just with the quality of the person and the driver that we all know.
“So, for the team the matter is closed and overall, for the team, we have grown. So we have no problem at all with that.
“In terms of how Lando perceives himself, I’m sure he will make some adaptations to his tone and pitch and so, potentially, in some time we will hear Lando speaking in a slightly different way, such that he comes across in a way that is more close to what he expects of himself.
“But for us, we are happy. And we just have to make sure we support him as well as he deserves.”