Lando Norris heartened by McLaren reponse to China setback

Lando Norris says McLaren can be lifted by the manner in which it responded to its China setback at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as the team moved into fourth in the standings.

Norris took sixth on a strong weekend in Bahrain but the team subsequently endured a challenging time in China, with both drivers hampered by first-lap contact with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.

In Azerbaijan Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr. spent much of the race towards the front of Formula 1’s midfield pecking order, with Norris challenging Racing Point’s Sergio Perez for sixth.

Sainz Jr. moved ahead until Norris jumped clear via the undercut, though the Spaniard ultimately re-gained seventh when the rookie made another stop for fresh tyres under the Virtual Safety Car.

The result promoted McLaren to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

“We knew that kind of track, China, is a weak track for us, but we bounced back well,” said Norris.

“We didn’t dwell on it, didn’t get frustrated, we understood it wasn’t going to be a good weekend for us and this weekend would better.

“We maximised it and bounced back in a pretty good way.

“I always want more as a driver, the team always wants more, we’re happy with how we’ve done but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Explaining the decision to make a second stop, Norris said: “As a team we didn’t win or lose points from where we were before the stop.

“We just wanted something to see if we could have a bigger advantage over Checo to get ahead as we didn’t have the straight-line speed to pass him.

“I’m fine with the decision [to drop behind Sainz]. It was a team decision. It just didn’t work out how I wanted to.”