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Lando Norris had a remarkable home race, as he finished the British Grand Prix in second position. It was a special weekend for McLaren too, as the team celebrated the 60th anniversary since it was formed with a special silver chrome livery.
He had qualified second for the race in second position, with his teammate, Oscar Piastri, right behind him. Things got even better for Lando Norris at the start, as he took over the lead. He relinquished it five laps later, although a fight for the win with the much-superior Red Bull was never in the cards. He eventually grabbed his first podium on home soil, to the delight of the crowd.
In the parc ferme, just before the podium, Norris spoke to David Coulthard, another British driver who enjoyed success at Silverstone:
It’s pretty insane. I just want to say a big thanks first of all to the whole team, they’ve done an amazing job. None of this would be possible without the hard work they’ve been putting in. So, pretty amazing, pretty insane to put up a fight.
Undoubtedly the toughest moment of the race for McLaren came when the safety car came out, as Kevin Magnussen’s Haas ground to a halt. Norris pitted under the safety car and fitted hard tyres. Piastri had stopped earlier, for the same compound, but was overhauled by Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time champion elected to go for soft tyres, which was a big advantage at the restart.
Norris was clearly unhappy with his team’s tyre selection and voiced his displeasure on team radio, prior to the race getting back underway. However, the positive outcome meant he was in a much better mood after the chequered flag and joked about the situation:
They put me on hard tyres, I don’t know why, they still are beginners in some things! I think they just wanted to give me a bit more of a test, I guess. That’s what Zak [Brown] said, anyway. Maybe Zak called the shots on that one. I wanted the softs, I feel like it made a bit more sense, especially with the Safety Car coming out. But I don’t care, I’m P2, it’s all good.
A brilliant battle between Norris and Hamilton followed, as the two Brits went wheel-to-wheel on multiple occasions, but the younger one was able to come out on top. As a result, he battled with two World Champions in the podium spots at Silverstone and he talked about both situations:
It was an amazing fight with Lewis to hold him off. I made a few too many mistakes maybe, but I did what I could.
I brought the fight to Max for as long as possible. It’s a long, lonely race when you’re just in the middle. But it’s amazing.
The result is very significant for both the team and the driver, as it shows a clear improvement thanks to the new aerodynamic package. Lando Norris got that first, at Austria, and has since leapt up to ninth in the drivers’ standings, having scored 30 of his 42 total points in the last two Grands Prix. For Piastri, this was the first Grand Prix with the upgraded car and his fourth-place finish is clearly his best performance in his rookie campaign.
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