As the FIA Formula 1 World Championship moves onto round three at the Algarve International Circuit, Portimão, the Mclaren F1 Team are looking to close the gap even further to the top two teams. It was a weekend of such mixed emotions for Mclaren in Imola, with Lando Norris agonisingly close to a front row start, only for track limits to deny the opportunity.
Mclaren probably won’t be too disappointed by this after Norris put in one of his best drives yet in Formula One, taking another podium to add to his slowly growing collection.
“Being on the podium for the second time in Formula 1 was an amazing feeling, but I couldn’t have done it without every single person in the team. Everyone at track and the factory continues to go above and beyond to give us the best possible chance every weekend. The result shows the progress we’re making to compete closer towards the front of the grid, but we know not every race will go in our favour.”
“We just need to keep our head down and look to improve in all areas to find that extra tenth that can give us the edge against strong competition. I think Imola really showed us that we need to try and turn every opportunity into an advantage with the fight being so close.”
Norris will be hoping to find that extra tenth this weekend at Portugal in what will be a resurfaced Algarve International Circuit, throwing another element into the mix.
“I’m glad we get to return to Portugal this weekend as it was a circuit that added something different to last year’s calendar. The elevation changes at this track make it a demanding drive with several blind corners. Everyone was struggling for grip there last year with the track being recently resurfaced, so it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like this weekend. Hopefully we’ll be able to push the car a bit more this time around.”
“I’m eager to get back in the car” – Ricciardo
Despite not necessarily living up to his expectations so far at Mclaren, Daniel Ricciardo played a huge role in Norris’s podium at Imola by letting him past earlier on in the race. It further proved his commitment to his team even when it’s not him on the podium.
Ricciardo is progressing every time he has driven his Mclaren MCL35M, he will be hoping to make further progress this weekend in Portugal.
“Up next is Portimão and I’m eager to get back in the car. Racing there is a lot of fun with the track having some unique elements that you don’t see at every race on the calendar. There’s a good mixture of high and low-speed corners with various changes in elevation that make it an exciting challenge. Coming out of some of the turns, you can really feel your stomach drop with the steep changes in gradient.“
“This weekend, I want to keep building on the progress we’ve made in the first two races and put what we learned at Imola into practice. We’ve definitely started the season on the right foot by scoring good points for the Constructors’ Championship, so I can’t be too disappointed on that front. There are a few elements I’m still trying to get to grips with which is only going to get better with more time behind the wheel.”
“Seeing Lando achieve a podium showed the potential of the car which is super motivating. We’re only three races in and there’s a lot more to come from me, so let’s keep it going.”