Lando Norris keeping McLaren alive in F1 constructors’ standings battle

Lando Norris keeping McLaren alive in F1 constructors’ standings battle

Lando Norris continues to be the key piece in McLaren’s fight with Ferrari for third in the constructors’ standings.

Lando Norris has gone above and beyond in the growth and leadership he has shown McLaren in the 2021 Formula 1 season.

With new teammate Daniel Ricciardo entering the fold this year, just how Norris would react to working alongside a race-winning driver was unknown. Would the two share a similar bromance to that of former McLaren driver Carlos Sainz? Or, would it be something different? Would Norris buckle under the stress placed upon him by scrutinizing people, or would he shine?

The simple answer is the latter. Norris has continued to build on the strengths he displayed in 2020, taking his racing game to a whole new level.  He remains the sole driver on the grid to score points in every race thus far. And, is currently sitting a very respectable fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.

It has been Norris’ reliability on the track that has put McLaren into the position they are at present. While Ricciardo has scored a handful of finishes inside the top 10, helping contribute to the overall points of the team. If not for Norris, McLaren would be languishing far behind Ferrari in their battle for ‘best of the rest’.

Norris’ ability on the track hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl heaping praise upon the young Brit.

“I think with everything we have seen from him it just shows that again he has made a big step forward this year.” Seidl said. “Also, it is simply great to see that after a qualifying lap that maybe doesn’t go to plan or a race start that doesn’t go to plan… he stays calm. He knows his opportunities are coming, he manages his tyres when he has to and then he uses the potential that is there, when the opportunities come up in the race.

“And it’s really great to see how he grew into this the last two and half years and but scoring in each race means the team is doing a great job in terms of reliability, in terms of pit stops, race strategy, and I’m obviously very happy with what I’m seeing there.”

While Norris is firing on all cylinders, we are still awaiting Ricciardo’s return to form. Which he has shown glimpses of, only to be quickly washed away again. The Woking-based team will be calling on Ricciardo to make a larger contribution, as their fight with Ferrari will likely heat up as the season progresses.

McLaren sit just 12 points ahead of the Scuderia after the Styrian GP.