Lando Norris was pleased to bring home the first points of the season for the McLaren F1 Team in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, although he was disappointed to see team-mate Daniel Ricciardo retire when on course to bring home points for the other car as well.
After qualifying outside the top ten, Norris was happy to move up the order during the evening at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, and he was involved in a late race battle with BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon over sixth, which unfortunately he came out second best in.
Norris was pleased to see the MCL36 had more pace in Saudi Arabia than they were able to show in the Bahrain Grand Prix just seven days earlier, and there was some satisfaction to score points for the first time in 2022.
“I think we can be satisfied with P7 and some decent points, that was the aim for today,” said Norris. “We would have loved to have got P6, and maybe it was possible, but we’re still happy with P7.
“It’s a real shame about Daniel because we could have had two cars in the points today, which would have been a very satisfying day.
“It’s good to see that there was a bit more pace in the car today, and we can make progress. But we’re still not where we want to be, so we’ll keep pushing.”
“This was a small step in the right direction” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Ricciardo was unfortunate to retire from the race in the latter stages, but the Australian was able to take positives from the weekend, feeling the performance in Saudi Arabia was a lot more promising than seven days previously in Bahrain.
Ricciardo acknowledges that McLaren are not yet where they want to be on track, with the aim to fight at the front for podiums and victories, but to be closer to the front of the midfield this weekend was a step in the right direction.
“The end result was obviously not what I wanted, but this weekend was more promising and we performed better on this track,” said Ricciardo, who was forced to retire with a clutch issue. “We’re still not where we want to be, but this was a small step in the right direction.
“Without the issue that ended my race we could’ve had both cars finishing in the points. It’s positive to see Lando get some points for the team after a decent battle.
“We’ve still got a lot to improve but we’re in a better place than Bahrain. So, we’ll take that, keep working, and build from here.”