Sunday, July 21, 2024

Norris Credits ‘Great Job’ by McLaren after Updates Bring Fourth Place in Austria

Lando Norris continued his good form around the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, with the British racer finishing fifth in the Austrian Grand Prix, which became fourth once Carlos Sainz Jr. was handed a post-race time penalty.

The McLaren F1 Team driver, who secured his maiden podium finish at the track back in 2020 and has never finished outside the top seven, was again in good form in 2023 and was able to keep up with Sainz despite the Scuderia Ferrari driver having found a way ahead of him early on.

Norris was running with McLaren’s updates on the MCL60 for the first time this weekend and secured the best result of the season so far to move into the top ten of the Drivers’ Championship standings.

“A very good day!” said Norris.  “I was a little bit surprised we had the race pace that we did, and it was great to be fighting the Ferraris and Red Bulls. More importantly, we beat both the Astons and Mercedes, which was our main goal today. Overall, a good day and good points.

“It’s one of those tracks which is easy to get punished on. We kept it on track and didn’t really make any big mistakes, with some good racing at times. The team has done a great job again.

“Thank you to everyone back in the factory for bringing the upgrade because that definitely got us in the points today. A big cheers to them.” 

‘Long Afternoon’ for Piastri on Pointless Run to Sixteenth

Team-mate Oscar Piastri was running without the updates and struggled throughout the day, ultimately finishing on the road in seventeenth.  He did, however, gain one place to sixteenth thanks to a time penalty for Nyck de Vries.

Unfortunately for the Australian, damage to his front wing caused when he clipped another car cost him dearly, and the pace of his MCL60 was not strong.  However, he is keen to head to the British Grand Prix knowing he will get the updates that Norris was running for the first time.

“A long afternoon,” admitted Piastri.  “I picked up some front wing damage in the middle with three cars kind of having their incident in front of me and I didn’t have anywhere to go, which was unfortunate, and our pace wasn’t great.

“Anyway, I’m looking forward to the next race. It’s a home race for the team and I’ve got some new parts on my car, which I’m very much looking forward to.

“We’ll see what we can do next weekend.” 

Oscar Piastri was not a points contender during the Austrian Grand Prix – Credit: McLaren F1 Team