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Unexpected P2 finish feels ‘like it’s a win’, exclaims Norris

The Brit’s second place finish was his seventh in the past 18 races

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Lando Norris expressed his delight at finishing in second place for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Norris held off the Red Bull of Sergio Perez to claim his best result of 2024 (Image Credit: @McLarenF1 on X)

After starting fourth on the grid, Lando Norris fought off both Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc to finish second in the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix.

While the British driver benefitted from a one-stop strategy and the timing of two crucial Safety Car periods, he also showed an impressive turn of pace as he managed to match the pace of Perez in his inferior McLaren MCL38.

Norris was one of three drivers alongside both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. to complete a one-stop race, nursing his first set of Medium tyres all the way until lap 24 before switching to the Hard compound which took him to the chequered flag.

An unwanted record?

In an alternate reality where Max Verstappen didn’t exist, Norris would likely have at least five or six race wins by now. Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, that isn’t the case, and the Chinese Grand Prix extended his number of podiums without a win to 15, a record for any driver in the history of Formula 1.

Speaking after the race however, the 24-year-old was far from disappointed with extending that record this weekend and disclosed his excitement with the result.

“I mean, whenever I finish behind Max, I feel like it’s a win, so a great day”, Norris told Sky F1.

“I was not expecting a day like today so very happy for myself – for the whole team, more importantly. Definitely exceeded our expectations but a lot of things just went our way.”

Despite the second place finish, Norris remains fifth in the Drivers Championship Standings, but closes the gap to Sainz in fourth to just 11 points.

Varying fortunes

Whilst Norris’ brilliant drive earned him his first Driver of the Day award of the season, his teammate’s fortunes weren’t quite the same. Despite qualifying just a place behind the Briton in Saturday’s qualifying session, Oscar Piastri dropped three places in the race to finish in eighth place, under two seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton who started in 18th.

Unlike Norris, Piastri stopped twice in the race, but suffered hugely from both pitting at the wrong time under the string of Safety Cars. The Aussie driver pitted later than his nearest rivals, dropping to eighth place and coming out just in front of both Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo.

His race then got a lot worse when he picked up damage from his fellow countryman, who was controversially hit from behind by Stroll on the race restart. With 30 laps of the race remaining, Piastri did well to remain in eighth and finished like much of the rest of the field on the hard compound tyre.

 

“I don’t know how much time it [the damage] was worth, but looking at the back of the car after the race it was pretty destroyed”, Piastri told F1 media after the race.

“I think it explains quite a lot of the deficit. I think in the first part of the race it was okay, lacking a little bit of pace but not too bad. But yeah, after the restart it was very much literal damage limitation.”

Piastri managed to hold onto sixth place in the Drivers Championship Standings following the race but lost out on points to both George Russell and Fernando Alonso who are now less than eight points behind the McLaren driver.

Feature Image Credit: @McLarenF1 on X

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