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Lando Norris frustrated by Carlos Sainz’s lucky podium finish in Monaco

Lando Norris was frustrated after Carlos Sainz's lucky pitstop secured a Monaco Grand Prix podium, a result that seemed impossible for Sainz earlier in the race.

Starting from third on the grid, Sainz clashed with McLaren's Oscar Piastri at Ste Devote, resulting in a puncture for the Ferrari driver. This incident forced Sainz to lock up at Casino Square, dropping him to the back of the pack.

The race took a dramatic turn when chaos erupted on the climb up the hill. Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Haas's Kevin Magnussen collided, involving Magnussen's teammate Nico Hulkenberg as well.

This accident triggered a red flag, allowing Sainz to return to the pits and change his tyres. After a 40-minute delay, the FIA decided to restart the race using the original grid order, giving Sainz a second chance.

Sainz capitalized on this opportunity and drove a flawless race to secure third place, despite intense pressure from fourth-placed Norris in his McLaren. The race saw no further tyre changes among the leaders, allowing Sainz to maintain his position until the end.

Norris shared his thoughts with the media post-race, stating, "It's always fun to drive around here, but at the same time, there's nothing you can do, especially with the red flag at the beginning. That ruined any other opportunities that might have come our way with strategy, tyre saving, and stuff like that. So it's a bit of a shame."

He then turned his attention to Sainz's good fortune, saying, "Carlos got quite lucky that there was a red flag because he was out or last, and that was his own fault. For him to get third back was obviously annoying because it put me back down to fourth.

"You win some, you lose some in those situations with a red flag. Sometimes it helps you out, sometimes it hurts you a bit. We lost out from it, and Carlos was the lucky one."

When asked if the situation was unfair, Norris responded, "Yeah, but they're the rules." He referenced Pierre Gasly's 2020 Italian Grand Prix victory, where Gasly benefited from a crash involving Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and smart strategy to claim his only F1 win to date. "He won because he got a free pitstop onto some different tyres," Norris recalled. "Unless you want to say you're taking that win away from him, it's the same situation."

However, Norris pointed out a critical difference between Gasly's win and Sainz's podium in Monaco. "I guess this one was more that he [Sainz] made a mistake himself. He ran into Oscar and gave himself a puncture. So that [restarting third] is just very lucky.

"I don't think it's the most fair thing, but I'm sure there have been moments in the past when maybe I've been fortunate from it, and they [the team] fixed the car a little bit, or something like that."

Reflecting on the incident, Norris concluded, "When you think of it, in just a blunt way, it is frustrating and unfair. Because someone makes a mistake, and because of a certain amount of cars, or whatever the rule is, didn't cross the line before the red flag and blah blah, that he gets to undo that mistake and gets a free pitstop. It's unfair."

The next race on the Formula 1 calendar is the Canadian Grand Prix, scheduled for June 7-9. The race will be held over 70 laps on the 4.361-kilometre Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.

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