Styrian GP: Lando Norris keen for back-to-back races in Austria

Styrian GP: Lando Norris keen for back-to-back races in Austria

After securing his first F1 podium in Austria during 2020, Lando Norris is keen to kick off an Austrian double-header. With the Styrian GP the first of two races scheduled for the Red Bull Ring.

This weekend’s Styrian GP is the first of two back-to-back races slated for the Red Bull Ring. Much like last year, race cancellations elsewhere have again led to Austria playing host to a double-header.

Coming off a strong race at the French GP, which included a double points finish for the team, as well as retaking third in the Constructors’ Championship from Ferrari. McLaren will be looking to capitalise on their performance at a track where they have enjoyed success over recent years.

2020 saw Lando Norris score his first Formula 1 podium at the track. Coming in third during the Austrian GP. Followed up by another successful race the week later at the Styrian GP, with a fifth place finish.

With Norris really coming into his own this season and leading McLaren from the front, there is no doubt he will be looking to replicate the results he achieved last year at the circuit.

“I’m really looking forward to going racing in Austria for the next two weeks,” Norris said. “It’s a special place as it’s where I got my first podium in Formula 1. We had two strong back-to-back results in Austria last season, so I’m hoping we can have a similar two weekends this time out.

“We can’t get ahead of ourselves as a lot of things are different from last year, like the car and tyres. We’ll go into these two races with our heads down and take it one step at a time to try and have two results like we managed in France, but also working hard on improving our qualifying performance.”

There is no denying that 2021 is by far Norris’ most competitive season thus far. He has matured and developed as one would have hoped. Playing an integral role in scoring points for McLaren, with increased input regarding developments of the car.

It shows while he is out on track and also when in front of the camera. With a fierce competitive edge while racing and a more serious demeanour during interviews. Still having time for the occasional comedic quip when needed.

McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl is nothing but impressed with the 21-year-old. Noting the ‘big step forward’ Norris has undertaken this season.

“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.”

Although McLaren will be hoping for a repeat of 2020, one significant factor which could come into play determining race results, as it did last year, is the weather. Although held slightly earlier than 2020, we are fast approaching unpredictable weather for the region which can bring with it plenty of rain.

However, despite the unknowns that weather can bring to a race, the MCL35M should be able to handle whatever weather conditions are thrown at the drivers. With the Red Bull Ring another circuit where the car is likely to perform above and beyond the capabilities of their Ferrari rivals.