Lando Norris looked back at a ‘decent’ Australian Grand Prix for the McLaren F1 Team as the Briton followed up his excellent performance in Saturday’s Qualifying session to finish a season’s best fifth on Sunday.
Norris did not have the best of starts as he slipped behind the two Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers, but he was able to keep them pretty much in view all afternoon long, and was able to profit from Max Verstappen’s retirement to claim fifth.
Although there is still plenty of work to do with the MCL36 before it is truly competitive this year, Norris felt they did everything they could with what they had in Albert Park to score a good haul of points.
“A decent race,” said Norris. “We didn’t have the best of first laps but I think by the end we were still in good positions for us as a team, and we couldn’t have done a lot more.
“I think Mercedes had much better pace than us today, so we’re happy with where we ended up. Good points for us, a great pit-stop and good progress from the team.
“We’ll take what we’ve learned today and try to carry it with us into the next few races.”
“It has been a better weekend which is positive for the team” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished on Norris’ tail in sixth, and the home hero admitted he was able to leave Australia in good spirits for the first time in at least four years of racing there.
Ricciardo has not had the best of luck racing at Albert Park in the past, but he was able to enjoy a strong performance in 2022 to bring home his first points of the season and give his fans something to cheer after a difficult opening two rounds of the year.
The Australian says the team still has work to do in order to improve the car, but the performance and pace at Albert Park can only give them confidence as they look to return to the front of the midfield or even better this year.
“It has been a better weekend which is positive for the team,” said Ricciardo. “I’m happy with the progress and, as a team result, I think we executed everything we could.
“I think the first part of the race was positive but there is still a bit to work on. Probably in that second stint I lost a little bit of pace on the Hard tyre. It came back to me a little bit – but we still have a bit of understanding to do.
“I’ll keep working at it but generally, as a whole, the weekend’s been smooth. I’m happy to walk away with my first points of the year at home, which is also nice for the all the fans who came out here, so I’m feeling pretty content.
“We leave Melbourne in good spirits, which feels nice as it’s probably been four years since I left here in good spirits.”