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Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri stole the show at Silverstone on Saturday, as they made sure that McLaren put both cars in the top three for its home race! The team is racing with a special livery as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations and now has even bigger reasons to celebrate on Saturday.
McLaren’s season so far
McLaren had a tough start to the season and was one of the big disappointments early on. Its cars finished sixth and eighth as they were able to navigate the chaos at closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix. Norris then scored two points at Baku, while both cars just snuck into the top ten at Monaco.
In Austria, McLaren brought a significant upgrade package and fitted it only on Norris’ car, as just one set was available. He was able to qualify third for the Sprint, which ended in bitter disappointment after an error on the opening lap. However, he was able to impress by finishing fourth in the Grand Prix, in a very competitive performance.
At Silverstone, with both drivers able to race the upgraded car, the team excelled in qualifying and shocked the paddock by securing a double top three finish. Lando Norris briefly put his car on pole, until he was beaten by just two tenths by Max Verstappen. Oscar Piastri was a tenth behind his teammate and will start third, by far his best performance in his rookie season.
Norris: “Max ruins everything for everyone!”
Norris was just as surprised as everyone and he was in a great mood when he spoke to Jenson Button after the session:
I was close, you know! I was P1 in Q1, I think I was P1 in Q2, and close, two-tenths, to P1 in Q3, so pretty insane, and my last lap was a good lap.
I could hear Zak [Brown] on the radio on the in-lap, which was the best thing ever. It’s great for myself, but also for both of us to be second and third. It was pretty amazing for the whole team.
Questioned on whether he was thinking about pole position since he came so close, he responded:
Well, it is always Max, he always ruins everything for everyone! I am very happy, big thanks to the whole crowd here, it has been a pretty special day for us. I look forward to tomorrow.
He then spoke about the turnaround in form for himself and McLaren after the upgrades:
It makes up for everything, you know. All the hard work that we’ve been putting in, especially here, with the new livery, a home race for the team and for myself. We couldn’t have had a better result today, apart from Max, again, he ruins everything! But the rest was pretty amazing, so a big thanks to everyone.
Piastri: “Now we’ve got to try and stay here for tomorrow”
Piastri was also delighted, as he looks to turn around a tricky rookie season so far, and he excelled at Silverstone:
I am very, very happy! I mean, what a qualifying session, we were almost out in Q1. Then the car was a rocket ship in Q2 and Q3, and I feel like I put a pretty good lap together. It’s a massive result for the team as well, to have both of us up here is a mega result. Now we’ve got to try and stay there for tomorrow.
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