Lando Norris saw his chance of scoring points in his maiden Grand Prix in Australia start disappear with a stint stuck behind Antonio Giovinazzi, with the delay enabling Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly jump ahead of him.
The McLaren F1 Team racer ran tenth in the early laps and ran as high as seventh whilst some of those pitted ahead of him, although his own pit stop saw him come out behind Alfa Romeo Racing’s Giovinazzi, who was on a different strategy.
Ultimately, Norris was forced to settle for twelfth at the chequered flag, and he took responsibility for failing to break into the top ten, although he did make a good move on Giovinazzi, the gap to those ahead of him was too much to bridge.
The one positive he could take away from Albert Park was that he got his first Formula 1 race distance under his belt, and he can now turn his attention to the Bahrain Grand Prix at the end of the month where he hopes he can make that breakthrough into the top ten.
“The team gave me a good car, with enough pace for me to be in the top 10 but I made a couple of mistakes which cost me any chance of scoring points, so I’m a little disappointed,” admitted Norris after Sunday’s season-opener. “But it’s cool to finish my first [F1] race and get it out of the way.
“I didn’t make the perfect start, struggled to get ahead of a slower car and then had a big lock-up so I need to work on these mistakes. I’m annoyed with myself as there was more potential. Now I focus and look forward to Bahrain.”