Lando Norris’ form is due to a combination of his own maturity and improvement in recent years as well as gains made by McLaren overall, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.
Fifth place in the French Grand Prix last Sunday maintained Norris’ run of having scored in every race so far this season, with the 21-year-old the only driver to have done so. Only in Spain — where he finished eighth — has Norris failed to finish in the top five, and Seidl says he’s particularly impressed with how he responds to moments that don’t go smoothly during a race weekend.
“I think with everything we have seen so far from him it just shows that he has made a big step forward,” Seidl said. “What is simply great to see is that even after a qualifying lap that didn’t go to plan or a race start that didn’t go to plan, he keeps the overview. He stays calm, he knows his opportunities are coming, he manages the tires when he has to and then he uses the potential which is there when the opportunities come up in the race. That’s obviously great to see how he grew into this over the last two and a half years.
“Scoring in each race also means obviously that the team is doing a great job in terms of reliability, in terms of race strategy, in terms of pit stops, and I’m obviously very happy with what I’m seeing there.
“At the same time it’s always important after a race like (France) to not get carried away and also not forget how quickly it can go in the other direction. We have seen for example on his second run in Q2 with the issue he had with the fuel you are quickly out of the competition as well and not going through to Q3. So it is important to keep our heads down, stay focused and keep scoring continuously with both cars.”
Although Norris took his first podium in Austria last year after qualifying a very competitive fourth, Seidl is wary of expecting McLaren to be particularly quick during the upcoming pair of races at the Red Bull Ring.
“It’s so difficult to predict — we went to so many races the last three years and thought we were strong and then we were not the strongest, and the other way round! We had strong races in Austria the last two years, so we are looking forward to it.
“I think Lando always did great there and Daniel (Ricciardo) as well, so I guess we should be in a position again to fight for good points.”