Norris happy to prove McLaren 'abusers' wrong

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Lando Norris believes his second consecutive runner-up spot achieved on Sunday in Hungary "finally proved wrong" all those who doubted McLaren's ability to turn around its fortunes.

Norris followed up on his P2 podium at Silverstone two weeks ago with another solid drive that started off with the Briton losing out to his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri at the start.

But Norris then executed a superb overtake on Lewis Hamilton around Turn 2 to slot himself into third behind leader Max Verstappen and Piastri where he remained until his first pitstop on lap 18.

The timing of the stop and its swift execution by McLaren's crews eventually allowed Norris to undercut his teammate and recoup second.

But Verstappen's blistering pace up ahead left him to defend his runner-up spot against the second Red bull of Sergio Perez. The McLaren driver was fortunately able to keep the Mexican at bay

"A tough race," said a relieved Norris in parc fermé. "Not an easy one, especially with Checo catching at the end but he didn't have enough pace to catch up.

"I had to fight for a little bit in the beginning - I got a bit screwed over in Turn 1, but another podium for McLaren, which is amazing."

Asked if his second consecutive P2 pointed to an outright win being just around the corner, Norris replied: "If Max retires or something, maybe!

"But the guys are too quick unless they make mistakes or something happens.

"At the minute, we're happy with the progress we have made to go from where we were four or five races ago, struggling to get out of Q1 sometimes, to fighting for poles and fighting for podiums.

"We will take it for now and our time will come later on."

McLaren's remarkable summer turnaround followed a difficult period for the Woking-based outfit during which many expressed doubts about the team's ability to evolve into a proper front-running outfit.

Norris reckoned that Sunday's result – complemented by a strong race by Piastri who finished fifth – will have permanently shut down McLaren's detractors.

"I think we knew it in the beginning that we were going to struggle and we looked pretty poor," he said, recalling the start of the season.

"We got a lot of abuse saying we weren't doing a good enough job, so I'm happy we have finally proven some people wrong."

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