A week after a sensational final lap earned him his maiden F1 World Championship podium, Lando Norris saved his best until last again in Austria to make up three positions in less than two laps to take fifth position.

Another last gasp boost for the McLaren driver  on a weekend he has had to contend with chest and back pains because of an as-yet-undiagnosed medical problem, plus a lower than hoped ninth on the grid as a result of a grid penalty following qualifying.

Things didn’t appear to improve initially either for Norris as he circulated outside the top ten initially, but a strategy to go much longer on the soft tyres would pay dividends as it gave him a chance to fight with fresher rubber in the closing stages.

Coming up to the fight for sixth between Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo, the Canadian’s efforts to overtake his rival at Turn 3 on the penultimate lap achieved its desired outcome but also allowed Norris right back into the fight.

Dispatching of Ricciardo out of Turn 3, Norris attempted to hang it around the outside of Turn 4 but would back out of its on the exit in favour  of a renewed attempt on the final revolution. This time there would be no mistake, Norris scything up to sixth,

However, even better was to follow – albeit again at the expense of Racing Point – as Norris caught an ailing Sergio Perez in the final complex, the Mexican slowed after damaging his car on Alex Albon’s Red Bull a couple of laps earlier.

Wasting no time to pounce, Norris grabbed the initiative to take an unlikely fifth place to go with his fine podium from a weekend earlier.

“It was very enjoyable those last few laps. [I enjoyed] just the second stint, the first one I didn’t like because you’re in a DRS train and you can’t do anything but we went much longer than we thought would be possible on the softs and that played in our hands when we changed to the mediums, so we had much better pace than everyone else around me.

“I had a good slipstream from Stroll and made the most of it, I was a bit nervous around the outside of turn four so I took the safer option of backing out, but I wanted to use the next half of the lap to get into DRS range and it worked out perfectly.

“We got a bit lucky with Perez at the end there and I would say it is one of the best races of my F1 career so far.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...