McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris is “over the moon” after claiming his first Formula 1 career podium after finishing third in the first Grand Prix of the 2020 season at the Red Bull Ring.
The Brit gave a stunning performance in what was an eventful Austrian Grand Prix – this was without a near miss in the pitlane with BWT Racing Point Formula One Team’s Sergio Perez.
Norris and McLaren capitalised on the penalties handed out prior to the race, and during the race to Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer received a three place grid penalty after ignoring yellow flags during qualifying, promoting Norris to third place on the grid.
A further five-second penalty during the race for Hamilton, due to a collision with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Alex Albon, led to a nail-biting climax to the season opener between Norris and Hamilton for the final place on the podium.
Talking about his performance in the race, Norris said, “We did a bit more on merit this weekend: our pace has been very good here. It’s not been easy: we haven’t had the third-fastest car on the grid – but we put it all together pretty much every time.
“We limited the mistakes we made and took advantage of every opportunity that came our way. Because of that, we got a podium, so a big thanks goes to the team at home and at the track for all their hard work.”
Norris set the fastest lap of the race during the final lap of the race with a time of 1:07.475s, setting him 0.2s ahead of Hamilton, rewarding the McLaren racer the last spot on the podium – his first podium in F1 and earning him the title of the Third Youngest Podium Finisher at 20 years and 235 days old.
The extra point leaves Norris with 16 points and third place in the championship standings leading into the second race at the Spielberg circuit next weekend. The teams head back to the Red Bull for the Styrian Grand Prix.
The Brit hopes to repeat the performance next weekend saying, “I would love to say we can achieve this next weekend again. We did have a little bit of luck but we have a good car and we’ve kicked the season off with a great result. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do but if we can maintain this momentum, we can hopefully have a great season.”