Norris admits Austrian GP was 'damage limitation' for McLaren


Lando Norris says McLaren was lucky to conclude it's Austrian Grand Prix with a double-points finish after a "damage limitation" race for the papaya squad at the Red Bull Ring.

Saturday's sprint event left Norris and teammate Daniel Ricciardo P11 and P12 in the running order but the pair were bumped up a spot on Sunday's grid following Valtteri Bottas' demotion to the back of the field.

Progress on Sunday for Norris and Ricciardo was limited and mainly gained through the misfortune that hit Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

The Briton was also hit with a five-second penalty for repeatedly exceeding track limits that deprived him of fighting Haas' Mick Schumacher for P6.


"I think a little bit of luck on our side with Sainz and Perez out, but with the pace, we deserved to be where we were," Norris said.

"Alonso was fast, the Alpines were very fast, to finish seventh and ninth was good points.

"It’s damage limitation from what’s been a very difficult weekend – especially from my side, maybe not so much from the other side.

"With how compromised we were with set-up all weekend, and how far out we were with some things, we know there was a decent amount more potential in the car this weekend."

Norris was slightly frustrated by his inability to give Schumacher a run for his money in the latter part of the race due to his track limit violations – an ever-present issue that caught out many drivers in Austria.

"I did two of them very early on, so I was on my final warning for quite a long time," he said.

"It’s a tough track to stay within the lines first of all, especially when you’re fighting the car a bit more, when you’re pushing to try and get the guys ahead – I have to push to that limit.

"I went over it a few too many times which cost us. We could have had P6 ahead of Schumacher I reckon, or at least had a fight with him I’d say, but [Haas] were quick, they did a good job."


On the other side of the McLaren garage, Ricciardo deemed himself "pleased" with his single point finish. But that was the full extent of the Aussie's post-race sentiment.

"On a weekend when we weren’t strong – really ever – I think we did well to walk away with the double-points finish," he said.

"Pleased. I wouldn’t go as far as happy but I’d say pleased.

"I just felt like [in the sprint] there were a few corners in particular where I was like, ‘All right, this is a strength’ and I didn’t have that [in the race].

"There were a couple of places where I couldn’t really put the car where I wanted, where I could, so that was a little bit frustrating.

"The first set [of tyres] was a bit more because I flat-spotted the front left at the start. I made a position but then I screwed the tyre and then I was struggling a lot on that first stint.

"But even after that, still didn’t really get those strengths back. We should have those couple more tenths to put me in the fight with the Haases and Lando."

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