An exceptional performance by young Brit Lando Norris in the final race of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 season saw McLaren F1 Team gain a vital extra ten points that secured them third place in the constructors’ championship.
Norris qualified in fourth place on Saturday and repeated his standout performance in the race to take home fifth ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.
Speaking post-race, Lando said he ‘couldn’t be happier’ with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result, and that the race was ‘pretty much the perfect day’ for the British outfit.
“I had a good start and we just did everything we needed to do as a team. We executed it perfectly, the Safety Car and the pit-stops, and managed the tyres really well. P3 with the team is awesome and the perfect way to end this season, I couldn’t be happier. Pretty much the perfect day!”
He went on to thank the team that powered him to thirteen top-ten finishes (including a maiden podium) in the whirlwind 2020 season, and said a final goodbye to Scuderia Ferrari-bound Sainz with whom he enjoyed a two-year-long bromance.
“Thanks to the boys and girls at McLaren for all their hard work throughout the season, you’ve done an incredible job all year and this result is for you. And finally, best of luck to Carlos for the future. I’m looking forward to battling him again on track next year, and maybe at the golf course too.”
Sainz ‘grateful to each and every member’ of McLaren for ‘best’ two years
Unmentionable is McLaren’s 2020 success without also recognising the stunning performances of Carlos Sainz, who brought home a whopping 105 points to aid their strong championship result.
The Spaniard enjoyed two podiums with the team and a wealth of points finishes that have greatly furthered McLaren’s rise from the ashes. Despite all of this, he is set to leave the papaya squad to join Ferrari and hopefully replicate this class-act in order to revitalise the struggling prancing horse.
In his post-race interview, Sainz commended the ‘well-executed’ season-closing race in Abu Dhabi and bid an emotional farewell to a team that will no doubt hold a very special place in his heart.
“A great day for the whole team. I think we managed to put together a very strong weekend from the beginning to the end. We managed to remain focused, solid and bring home this P3 in the championship with a very well-executed race from everyone.”
“From my side, it wasn’t the most exciting race. I kept it clean, I made a couple of moves in the middle of the race and managed to finish back in P6, so happy with that. I’m also very happy with finishing P6 in the Championship for the second time with McLaren. I think the last seven, eight races of the year, where things went a bit more our way, I was able to show the pace that we’ve had all season. For me it just shows that, whatever happens, you need to keep pushing and believing in what you are doing.”
“I cannot be more grateful to each and every member of the team for these two great years, both at the racetrack and back at the factory. I take with me the best of memories. It’s been an honour to help the team as much as I could and get McLaren closer to where it belongs. I look forward to battling you guys next year! All the best.”