Lando Norris “has taken a big step forward in 2021”, says McLaren boss Andreas Seidl
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl sang the praises of Lando Norris after the Briton continued his streak of points races in 2021 in France, his happy hunting ground of Austria, hosting the next two rounds of the championship.
Norris finished fifth in France, adding 10 points to bring his season total to 76. Currently, he is only 21 points from the 97 he collected in 2020 – his best F1 season to date – after just seven Grands Prix, and he’s the only driver on the grid to have scored in every race this year. Seidl noted that the 21-year-old has shown great maturity and has adapted to a number of test scenarios this season.
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“I think with everything we’ve seen of him it just shows that he’s taken another big step forward this year and also it’s just great to see that after a qualifying round that maybe not going as planned or a race start is not going as planned … he stays calm, he knows his opportunities are coming, he manages his tires when he needs to and then he uses the potential that is there, when the opportunities present themselves in the race.
“And it’s really great to see how he’s developed over the last two and a half years and but scoring in every race means the team is doing a great job in terms of reliability, in terms of pit stops, racing strategy, and I’m obviously very happy with what I’m seeing there, ”added Seidl.
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Then a pair of Red Bull Ring races follow, starting with the Styrian Grand Prix. And it was here in 2020 that Norris won his first F1 podium, finishing third in the Austrian Grand Prix. he went on to pass three cars on the last lap to finish fifth in the next race on the same circuit. He is aiming for similar success this season even if the picture is markedly different.
“I am really looking forward to racing in Austria over the next two weeks,” said Norris. “It’s a special place because that’s where I got my first podium in Formula 1. We had two good results in a row in Austria last season, so hopefully we can have two similar weekends. this time. We can’t get ahead because a lot of things are different from last year, like the car and the tires.
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“We will go into these two races with our heads down and go step by step to try to get two results like we did in France, but also work hard to improve our performance in qualifying.”
Norris is fourth in the standings, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and just eight points behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, with the Briton remaining the only driver to score in every race so far in 2021.