Norris 'nothing short of spectacular', declares de Ferran


Lando Norris got top marks from his McLaren bosses for his performance in the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, which was just his second start in a Formula 1 car.

Norris started the race from ninth place following a post-qualifying grid penalty for Haas' Romain Grosjean, but lost a bunch of places navigating a messy start to the race.

"I had a good start," Norris reported after the race. "A good launch, good pull-away but then some wheel-spin.

"I was blocked going into turn 1, then was on the outside of another car and we touched. I went off and through the gravel, losing quite a few places.

However the young Brit held his nerve and worked his way back up the order during the course of the 57 lap race.

"The pace after that was really strong," he said. "I caught up pretty quickly. I struggled a bit in the DRS train that formed but as soon as someone lost DRS, I could get them.

He was up to seventh place on lap 53 when he picked up a surprise bonus place following Nico Hulkenberg's retirement, which contributed to a safety car that froze the running order to the chequered flag.

"I maybe struggled a little in the final stint but managed to stay ahead of Kimi [Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo]. From my side, P6 is a really good job!

“I’m really happy and pleased to have scored my first points," he continued. "But also for McLaren, after all of the team’s hard work over the winter."

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL34 with David Beckham (GBR) Former Football Player on the grid.

McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran said the team was "elated" by Norris' performance, and lauded a job very well done by the teenager this weekend.

"Lando was nothing short of spectacular today," said the former racer. "After getting tangled up early in the race and losing some positions, his drive to sixth place was perfectly judged."

He added that Norris has displayed "the right blend of determination, aggression, pace and tyre management" over the entire weekend..

Unfortunately Norris' team mate Carlos Sainz wasn't able to show his true form in the race after an early clash with Red Bull's Max Verstappen left him stuck right at the back.

"What happened to Carlos, who showed very strong pace early on and throughout the race, was a real shame,' said de Ferran, who said that it meant they were "left wondering what could have been."

As for the team's performance, de Ferran said: "We managed to execute good pit-stops and strategy to bring our first points of the season.

"We leave Bahrain pleased and encouraged with our result, while at the same time remaining totally focused – there still is a lot of work ahead.”

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