Lando Norris is experiencing a fantastic start to the new season. After finishing fourth at the season opener in Bahrain, the young Briton in Imola came to his second podium in his career, after which he also received high praise from the head of McLaren’s team.
Already Saturday’s qualifiers suggested Norris was ready for big things. He set a great time in Q3, but a small mistake and a minimal out-of-track forced the referees to anull that lap, so he had to start the race from seventh place.
However, he was fantastic in the race. He broke through position after position and after a break due to the accident of Bottas and Russell, overtook Leclerc in Ferrari for second place during the restart.
Seidl on Norris
He tried hard to keep that position, but Hamilton was faster in the Mercedes.
Still, third place was celebrated in the ranks of McLaren. "I am really happy for the whole team. Lando flies in these moments. He definitely took the next step as a driver, and I am happy for the whole team that he managed to win third place in this race, ”said McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.
“It could be seen already in Bahrain, but also during the winter, that he took that next step both as a driver and as a person. He analyzed last year’s season with his team of engineers in the right way."
"It is normal for these young boys to take these steps, especially in their early years. They have to make them, otherwise, they will never get to the top, but it's just great how he does it. ” A bit of a surprising decision was to do the second part of the race on a softer tire component.
Almost everyone else after the restart used a medium that seemed like a safer bet to get to the finish line safely, however at McLaren they decided to take a little risk and it paid off in the end. “It was a great decision of our team, to put softer tires before the restart of the race.
It was a bit of a gamble because we weren't sure if it would last until the end, but they lasted and it turned out to be a great move. " “We are still in a position where we have to accept that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton overtake us on the track, but we just have to keep working hard and hopefully at some point in the future we will be able to keep them behind,” Seidl said.
Daniel Ricciardo needs a little more time to fully adjust to the McLaren car, but he also brought the team solid points by winning sixth place.