McLaren’s Lando Norris has revealed that he is ‘happy’ with his fifth-placed finish at 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the death of shareholder, Mansour Ojjeh.
Having endured a solid weekend within the top ten before a three place grid penalty relegated him to ninth, Norris felt that finishing fifth was the maximum possible, saying: “Happy with the end result today, fifth was the best we could do.”
Norris though felt that he was unable to overtake in the middle stages of the race before benefitting from crashes for Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen on top of Lewis Hamilton’s lock-up on the standing restart which gifted him with two ‘great’ overtakes.
Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile endured an inconsistent weekend as he found himself starting 13th on the grid after a Q2 crash, before recovering to ninth as fate went his way after he found himself wishing mid-race for ‘more exciting’ drama which eventually fell his way with a two lap sprint finish after a late red flag.
Summarising his race in which he had to manage a flat spot on a hard tyre before getting squeezed into Turn Two on the standing restart, Ricciardo said: “We had some positive moments, but also a few difficult periods.”
Both drivers along with Team Principal, Andreas Seidl meanwhile sent their condolences to Mansour’s family, with Seidl describing their race as being ‘in honour of our long-term friend, supporter and fellow racer.”
Seidl also admitted that leaving Azerbaijan with 12 points despite losing third place in the constructor standings to Ferrari by two points will be ‘something’ which the team will ‘very happily’ accept under the circumstances.
Looking ahead to France, Seidl warned both drivers that their aim must be to achieve better Qualifying results, commenting: “The clear objective going forward to France and beyond is to qualify higher up the grid and, in doing so, make our Sundays a little easier.”