British GP: Lando Norris disappointed after missing Silverstone podium

British GP: Lando Norris disappointed after missing Silverstone podium

If not for a slow pit stop, Lando Norris was in with a chance to secure his first podium finish at the British GP.

The British GP got off to a flying start, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton colliding on the opening lap. The resulting contact sending Verstappen into the tyre barriers at 51G’s. Leaving the Dutchman winded and his Red Bull destroyed.

Starting from fifth and sixth on the grid, both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo got off to good starts, holding their positions up until the collision. The resulting retirement of Verstappen elevated both McLaren driver’s up the grid, to restart the race in fourth and fifth.

Norris would go on to get the jump on Valtteri Bottas during the restart, with the Mercedes driver making a slow start off the line. Holding onto P3 for almost half the race, everything came unstuck during Norris’ pit stop. Thanks to a stubborn right rear wheel nut, which resulted in a four second loss.

Mercedes were quick to counter McLaren’s slow pit stop, with Bottas pulling in the following lap and retaking third place. While Norris did miss out on what would have been his first podium finish at his home grand prix, his P4 finish is the 21-year-old’s best result at the circuit.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Norris. “It was still a very good race at the end of the day, I’m still P4 in my home race, and that’s a good result from sixth yesterday. Just here, I just wanted that little bit more.

“I held onto third for the whole of the first stint, so we had pace to hold [the Mercedes] off, not necessarily to catch them up and do anything else. But because of the pit stop, I didn’t get the chance to be ahead and defend for as long as possible. It would have been nice to fight for it and have that opportunity, but fourth and fifth for us as a team is still a good result.

“Fourth is still a very good result for us, so it’s not like I’m really annoyed. I’m just annoyed that I didn’t get the opportunity to fight and put on a good show and at least have some battling and some racing.

“It’s still been a fun weekend. It’s been a pleasure to have all the fans back, and it’s been a lot more enjoyable because of that, and means a lot more as a driver. Incredible – I can’t wait to come back next year and give it another shot.”

Meanwhile, Ricciardo secured his highest points finish with McLaren to date. Locking up fifth place after defending from what appeared to be the faster Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

And, while Ricciardo didn’t have the same pace as Norris throughout the race, he looked the most comfortable and confident in the car that he has all year. Something that will be a relief to the McLaren bosses.

“From a team point of view, it was a good day, with both cars in the top five,” Ricciardo said. It’s the first time this year that I’ve had a top five, so I’ll take some positives from that – definitely a good day.

“I did struggle with outright pace. There were parts of the race where I felt I couldn’t do that much more, so I’ve still got areas to work on with myself, and getting the car more to my liking, but nonetheless it was good to hold off Carlos. He was a lot quicker! He caught me extremely quickly and I knew that if I was mistake-free, I’d have half-a-chance. From that point of view, I’m super happy to end up fifth.”

The battle between McLaren and Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship is heating up. 15 points are separating the two teams, with all four drivers landing in the points during Sunday’s race.