Lando Norris rates his fifth-place finish in the Styrian Grand Prix as a better performance than his third place from last week at the Red Bull Ring.
The McLaren driver scored the first podium of his Formula 1 career in the Austrian Grand Prix, and sealed the result with the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to be classified ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Today the 20-year-old was running eighth with three laps to go but passed future teammate Daniel Ricciardo, before jumping both Racing Points on the final lap as Sergio Perez limped home with a broken front wing, and believes he drove better in the second race of the season.
“We had a really nice strategy,” Norris said. “I went really long on the soft tire in the first stint, much longer than we expected. And then our pace on the mediums was really fast. So I had good confidence in the car, the same as last weekend really. It was really fun.
“I got three positions in the last three laps. It shows you’ve got to keep fighting to the very last lap, especially with Sergio — I overtook him into the last corner. It was a fun race, probably my best race that I have done in F1. So, very happy with the day.”
Part of the result was set up by Norris taking advantage of a fight on track between Lance Stroll and Ricciardo, and he says he was impressed with how clean the racing was in the closing laps.
“I knew I had better tires, I managed them much better, and I boxed so much later than them. So the only thing I was a little bit worried about… They were both locking up and they were on old tires, so it was quite a risky overtake.
“Especially when I went on the outside of Stroll at Turn 4, but to be honest he left the room. He was a good racer then, so fair play to him. I could’ve risked staying on the outside and committing a bit more, but I took the safer option of backing out of it. It was good racing, so fair play to them. They made it a fun race.”
Norris was struggling with an injury throughout the race weekend that had left him in pain when driving the car, and he says it would be good to be able to rest rather than head straight into a third consecutive event in Hungary.
“Yes, preferably it would be nice to have a little break. Not because I’m tired or anything — I would love to go into another race, especially after these two weekends which have been very positive for us — but also would be nice to give my body a break because of my injury.
“It was not too bad today. I am pretty pain-killered it up, so I don’t feel anything. You can punch me and I would not feel it! So I look forward to it, it’s going to be fun — I like Budapest. Whether or not it’ll suit us as much as this weekend and this track, I’m not so sure.”