Andreas Seidl was delighted to see Lando Norris secure his maiden front row grid slot on Saturday afternoon at the Red Bull Ring, with the Briton giving the McLaren F1 Team their first top two starting place for nine years.
Norris was only 0.048 seconds away from taking a shock pole position, but the young Briton’s lap fell just short of the time set by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who will start the Austrian Grand Prix from the very front of the grid.
Seidl, the Team Principal of the Woking-based team, was pleased with the way Norris performed during the Qualifying hour, with the Briton improving on every run he completed.
“It’s been nine years since McLaren has qualified on the front row, so P2 today for Lando is a great result for the entire team and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP,” said Seidl.
“A reward for the hard work that everyone has been putting in over the last month to keep improving the car and make this possible today. Lando’s been flying, continuously improving with every single lap all through the qualifying sessions.”
Whereas it was a front row start for Norris, the second McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo was eliminated in Q2 and will start only thirteenth, but Seidl says there is still a chance of a good result from there for the Australian.
“On Daniel’s side, it was another challenging qualifying session which ended with him in P13 – but at this circuit and with the strategy options we’re expecting, he can have a good race from there,” insisted Seidl.
Seidl says it is important McLaren keep their feet on the ground and maintain their focus heading into Sunday’s race, with the important thing to score good points with both drivers as they battle hard for third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“While we’ve had a good moment, it’s important to switch our focus to tomorrow, which is when the points get distributed,” he said. “The objective is clear: we’ve got to get Daniel back into the points and score another big result with Lando for our battle in the Constructors’ Championship.”