Formula 1

De Ferran Praises Norris for ‘Control and Discipline’ during Grand Prix Debut

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Lando Norris - McLaren F1 Team - Albert Park
Credit: Joe Portlock/McLaren

Gil de Ferran has heaped praise on Lando Norris for the way he approached his debut Grand Prix in Australia, even if the Briton was unable to convert his top ten start into a points finish.

De Ferran, McLaren F1 Team’s sporting director, said Norris drove ‘like a veteran’ during the race at Albert Park and ran inside the top ten before his pit stop, only for the teenager to get caught up behind Antonio Giovinazzi, who had yet to stop himself.

The delay in passing the Alfa Romeo Racing driver enabled the likes of Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly get ahead of him, so a twelfth-place finish was the final outcome of his debut race, and de Ferran praised the mistake-free weekend he had.

“He did a great job overall,” said de Ferran to Motorsport.com. “He really didn’t put a foot wrong the whole weekend.

“A lot of control and discipline, he peaked when he had to pace-wise in qualifying, and in the race we were just unfortunate with the Giovinazzi train.  Other than that I think he managed himself really well and frankly drove like a veteran in many ways.

“He had both to attack and defend during the race, had to manage his pace and the tyres and I think he did that very well.”

De Ferran feels Norris would do things differently should the same scenario present itself in the future, and he believes one of the young Briton’s strengths is to analyse his performances so to improve.

“I’m sure if he plays it back, one would hope that he would think he could do this better and that better,” added de Ferran.  “That’s one of Lando’s great attributes, his ability to think through his own performance and analyse very carefully what he’s doing inside the car, his decision making and so on.

“That ability to be self-critical and open minded, in my summation, is something that’s going to serve him well.  He certainly didn’t feel out of place.  It was a good performance and it was a shame that he didn’t come home with a few points, which was entire in the realms of possibility had the race gone a bit differently.”

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