The Mclaren F1 Team go into this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix on the back of an Italian Grand Prix they will never forget, after finally stepping foot back on the top step of the podium.
Monza race winner Daniel Ricciardo still gets excited thinking about the last round. The Australian finally showed the pace he demonstrated on countless occasions during his period at Red Bull Racing. The team will be hoping his pace and confidence is back for good and that it wasn’t just a blip. Ricciardo on the whole has found his first season with Mclaren difficult, despite this he has put in the graft and in the end got the result himself and especially the team deserved.
The championship continues however and this weekend’s trip to the Sochi Autodrom, presents Ricciardo with a fresh opportunity to build on the performance shown in Monza, and target another big points haul.
“A week on from Monza, it still feels good thinking about being back on that top step of the podium. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to end a triple-header. I loved competing at the front of the grid and having the chance to fight for the win. The one-two finish is a product of hard work throughout the team and from myself. Since the start of my journey with McLaren I’ve been working through the challenges that come with adapting to a new car, but the team has been really supportive throughout.
“It’s great to have a result that completes that picture, and to have the team back in the winner’s circle has been a ride and I’ve only been a part of it for six months. It’s been the boost we all needed.
“I’ve definitely taken time to enjoy the moment but now it’s time to focus on Russia. I want to build on my Monza performance this weekend and will be pushing to score important points to keep up the fight with our competitors. Sochi can be a tricky circuit to make a move, so it’s important to make the most of qualifying to give us the best chance for points come Sunday.”
“We’re not getting carried away” – Lando Norris
Monza was a magical weekend for Lando Norris too, the British driver achieved his highest ever finish with second place, completing a Mclaren one-two for the first time in just over a decade.
Norris has been incredible all season so far, and has been an instrumental part of Mclaren’s rise back to where they belong. Monza demonstrated how far the team has come, although Norris is aware that the team can’t get carried away by the ecstasy of Italy. The British driver knows just how tight the battle for third in the constructors’ is with Scuderia Ferrari, and that continuing the momentum from Italy in Russia is essential.
“Monza was a special moment for the team that was fully deserved. Being able to celebrate the result with the entire team at the factory last week showed just how much that meant to everyone. A one-two finish is something we can all be proud of. I’m so happy to be a part of this journey that McLaren is on together as a team and see the progress we’re continuing to make.
“We’re not getting carried away as we know it won’t be like this every weekend. We need to continue to put ourselves in the best position possible and maximise the car, pit-stops, strategy and everything in between. Heading into Russia, the battle for third in the Constructors’ is still tight and looks set to stay that way until the last race of the season. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going from Italy and score some solid points for the team.”