Lando Norris saved the day for McLaren, taking third at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, revealing that he likes and excels in the mixed wet conditions that prevailed at Imola, on the day Daniel Ricciardo faltered.
Lando Norris was in top form at Imola this weekend, third in qualifying, fifth in the Sprint Race, and then an all important podium for McLaren, who are suffering one of their toughest starts to a Formula 1 campaign this year.
The young Briton made the best of the mixed conditions that prevailed over the Italian weekend at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo & Dino Ferrari, to capitalize perfectly on all the opportunities that came his way.
“Of course [it’s a surprise],” Norris after the race. “Amazing race, an amazing weekend. The team deserve it, from where we were in race one to now scoring a podium. Top job to the team.
“Everyone’s putting a lot of time and effort into this. I also like these conditions, I always do quite well! A great weekend, the hard work all pays off,” he added.
McLaren did a great job
The 22-year-old hailed a great job done by his team, who he claimed were faultless in the way they executed the race, and said: “I don’t think that today and this weekend was all about the car; the teamwork and the pit stops were amazing.
“How we executed the weekend gave us this result; with the starts, the strategies, qualifying, judging the tyres… [it was] the smaller things, that you probably don’t get to see, got us the podium today,” he explained.
“I guess fourth was still going to be an amazing position, amazing result for us and better than we were expecting coming into the race and into the weekend for sure.
“The improvements we’ve been bringing have definitely been moving us forwards and we really need to try and keep that up,” Norris concluded.
A horrible Sunday for Ricciardo
On the other side of the McLaren garage, Daniel Ricciardo had a disastrous race, as he slid into the side of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari on the opening lap, ending the Spaniard’s race on the spot, while he spent the afternoon toiling around at the back of the grid, ultimately finishing 18th.
“Obviously not the way I wanted Sunday to go,” Ricciardo said after the race. “A painful one and obviously not the way I want to affect someone else’s race.
“From memory, I think I got onto the kerb just to try and buy myself a bit more space, because I know at some point it’s going to bottle up, but I think once I got on the kerb, I just slid off it and then started to slide up into him.
“Obviously intentions were, in a way, good to try and, let’s say, leave some room. But in those conditions obviously I didn’t have the grip I was hopeful for, slid up into him and ruined his race as well. Then we had damage and it was a painful 60 laps,” the Australian explained.
“I’ll go and see Carlos,” the Honey Badger added. “I’m sure he was in [the media area] already, but go and see what I can do now to apologise and just try and move on for Miami.”
Norris does not make mistakes
Zak Brown hailed Norris who doesn’t make mistakes saying: “It was a good race, Lando drove really well. It was a bit unfortunate for Daniel at the start.
“We tried something different at the end with the tyre change, but it didn’t work,” he added. “Lando doesn’t make mistakes, he’s very fast and and hopefully we can give him a car to win around here – hopefully soon.”
Looing forward to Miami, the American said: “I think it might be the biggest race in Formula 1 – at least as a debut – for the partners and the fans.
“Long may it continue but I think Miami is going to be outstanding,” Brown concluded.
Happy boss? 😁 @ZBrownCEO #ImolaGP 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/IfVkH3xfcY
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) April 24, 2022