Lando Norris says the result of Formula 1’s Styrian Grand Prix demonstrates the work that McLaren still has to undertake, despite continuing his strong run of form.
Norris qualified in third position but swiftly fell away from leaders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, before relinquishing places to Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas.
Norris ran a lonely race thereafter, classifying fifth, marking the 13th successive race in which he has scored a point.
The result also kept Norris a lofty fourth in the Drivers’ standings and ensured McLaren retained third in the Constructors’ battle, behind only Red Bull and Mercedes.
However Norris came home over a lap behind race winner Verstappen.
“It is cool realising how much quicker they are today [in the race, which] proves how much better their [Red Bull] car is. But on a day like yesterday I out qualified one of them.
“So we are doing a good job in qualifying at times. Maybe not at Paul Ricard but we are extracting everything we can on Saturday, and we did yesterday.
“But days like today also show how much more we need to improve and make the car better and things like that. We have a lot of work to do.”
Norris conceded that he effectively gave up positions to Perez and Bottas in order not to risk his result later in the race.
“It is never nice to do because you don’t want to give up any position,” he said. “We did our homework. I already knew yesterday who I was going to be racing against.
“It is quite straightforward… I could try and see what our pace was like and how long I could keep them behind, and it gives me a good gap to the guys behind them.
“But I also need to make the decision when it is starting to hurt my own race. If I did it for too much longer I would’ve been a lot more vulnerable at the end of the race to Carlos [Sainz].”