McLaren couldn’t have expected a better start to their season than the one they got in Austria. The season opener at Spielberg saw 20-year-old Lando Norris bag his first-ever podium finish.
He ended the race at P-3 after Lewis Hamilton was given a 5-second penalty for causing a collision with Alex Albon. Not only did Norris land on the podium, but he also won an extra point for setting the fastest lap in the race.
McLaren’s other driver, Carlos Sainz finished the race with an impressive P5. But was clearly outshone by his younger teammate, on the day. The young Briton’s performance even drew praise from Formula One’s Managing Director, Ross Brawn.
Ross Brawn penned a special column for F1’s official website. In his column, he commended the young McLaren driver’s performance on Sunday.
He wrote, “After a long break, it was great to return with a thriller of a Grand Prix, with drama throughout. And one of the key protagonists was Lando Norris, who couldn’t quite break out of Carlos Sainz’s shadow in his first year with the team. But he came of age in Austria.”
Furthermore, he penned, “His last few laps, when he needed to close the gap to Lewis to ensure he could take advantage of the Briton’s five-second time penalty and snatch a maiden podium, were exceptional and simply stunning to see.”
He also expects that next season’s switch to a Mercedes engine will benefit McLaren. “In McLaren, you’ve got a team in transition, who are getting stronger every race and which have a bright future with a Mercedes engine.”
Well certainly both, McLaren and Lando Norris’s future in F1 look really bright indeed. The Woking-based outfit would want to build on the strong performance they showed in the season opener.
With the next race also taking place at Spielberg, both Norris and McLaren will be hoping for more of the same.
After Ferrari’s recent struggles, it seems like McLaren look well poised for a third-place finish in the Constructor’s championship this season.
However, with a whole season of racing ahead, it’s difficult to predict what might happen. But McLaren fans would have their fingers crossed.