McLaren: Very encouraging and a race we can learn a lot from

McLaren’s Lando Norris claimed his first podium after a storming drive to third place in the 2020 Formula 1 season-opening Austrian Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz adding to the flight with a strong fifth-place finish.

This is what they said after the race at Red Bull Ring:

Carlos Sainz: “First of all, congratulations to Lando for his first podium in F1 and to the whole team for a well-deserved strong first weekend in 2020! 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. I’m looking forward to racing again here in seven days. There are good opportunities and it can be important for the rest of the championship. Time to keep focused, prepare well for next weekend and go again!”

Lando Norris: “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. It’s not been easy: we haven’t had the third-fastest car on the grid – but we put it all together pretty much every time.

“We limited the mistakes we made and took advantage of every opportunity that came our way. Because of that, we got a podium, so a big thanks goes to the team at home and at the track for all their hard work.

“I would love to say we can achieve this next weekend again. We did have a little bit of luck but we have a good car and we’ve kicked the season off with a great result. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do but if we can maintain this momentum, we can hopefully have a great season.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “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.

“Congratulations and a big thank you to the entire team, both here in Austria and back home at the factory as well as to our colleagues from Renault. The team at the track worked very hard to get us to this point across a difficult week when we had many new protocols to work with.

“Thank you to the FIA, F1 and the promoter here in Austria for putting in place covid-19 protocols that allowed us to start the season in a safe manner and at the same time put on a great show for the fans.

“We had good reliability, the strategists made all the right calls with the Safety Cars, and hats off to Carlos and Lando for what they’ve done after that long break.

“Today was very encouraging and a race we can still learn a lot from, giving us confirmation that we are heading in the right direction, with both the development of the car and the way we operate. We had some doubts after Friday’s running, and weren’t sure we would have the pace to fight our competitors.

“The race was a confirmation that we have a solid base in terms of performance over a grand prix distance as well as for one lap in qualifying. Heads down now. Let’s make sure we don’t get carried away with the good result today and come back strong again next week.

“Finally, I want to say a big thank you to our partners and fans. Their support throughout this period has been incredible, even though they are supporting us remotely.”