Norris takes the plaudits, as McLaren make the ideal start in Austria


Norris and Sainz finish in top five to end the perfect weekend in Austria for McLaren.

After a gap of four months-217 days had passed since the sport’s last Grand Prix in Australia- the resumption of the F1 season with the Austrian Grand Prix was certainly worth the wait, with an incident packed race.

McLaren’s duo of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz backed up their excellent practice performances with both drivers finishing in the top five.

British driver Norris produced the race of his life to finish on the podium for the first time in his F1 career by finishing third, with Spaniard Sainz in fifth place.

There was drama before the race had started when Lewis Hamilton was given a three-place grid penalty after stewards reviewed an incident in qualifying when he had not slowed for yellow caution flags.

Despite this setback, he was up to second by lap 10, following the retirement of Max Verstappen with an engine problem.

With ten laps to go and the Mercedes duo of Bottas and Hamilton looking very comfortable, there was more problems for the World Champion who was handed a five second penalty after colliding with Red Bull’s Alex Albon.

A late surge from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc saw him climb to third by the flag, eventually promoted to second after the Hamilton penalty.

In a thrilling final lap, Norris held of Hamilton by producing the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:07.475, to give McLaren a podium finish for the first time since 2014.

Up next in seven days’ time another race in Austria- the Steiermark or Styrian Grand Prix.

Lando Norris speaking after the race

“I’m over the moon, my best Formula One result and my first ever podium.

“We’re all very happy, it’s a great achievement for race one. We did a bit more on merit this weekend, our pace has been very good here. We haven’t had the third fastest car on the grid, but we put it all together pretty much every time.”

Carlos Sainz, said after the race

“From my side, overall a good race and a good comeback on the last stint. In general it was an interesting race with several Safety cars and many good battles on track.”

Andreas Seidi- Team Principal spoke after the race

“I’m really proud to be part of this team. What an incredible performance from Lando right from lights out and through to the final lap. To finish the first race of the new season with P3 and P5 is simply a great reward for all the hard work everyone has put in.”

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