Lando Norris was left ‘speechless’ by his dramatic run to a maiden F1 podium in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix capped off by an incredible fastest lap on the final revolution that secured his unexpected third place finish.

A stellar performance by the Briton at the start of his second F1 season with McLaren Racing, Norris had already qualified a career-best fourth but would start third as a result of Lewis Hamilton’s grid penalty.

A good getaway lifted him to second briefly before a troubled opening few laps saw him slip back to run in fifth position.

However, after McLaren pitted him for fresh rubber during the late safety car period, Norris was well placed again in a chaotic final laps despite losing his rhythm when Charles Leclerc powered past, almost opening the door for team-mate Carlos Sainz to follow through.

Nonetheless, Norris got his head down to first dispatch of Perez with a robust pass into Turn 3 for fourth before getting the hammer down in the last laps knowing Hamilton up the road had a five-second penalty looming over him.

Remarkably, Norris would save his best for last, setting the fastest lap of the race – earning him an extra two points in the process - to haul himself back to within five seconds of the Mercedes ahead, lifting him to third and demoting his countryman to fourth.

“I am speechless,” he said. “There was a few points in the race where I thought I fudged it up quite a bit. I was down to fifth with a couple of laps to go and Carlos almost got past me, but I didn’t give up and I managed to get back past Perez to end up on the podium!

“It was a long race but I kept going, giving it my all, a pretty cool last few laps having to push as much as I could and now I am bit out of breath!”

A superb result for Norris to record only McLaren’s second podium in six years, Norris was proud to keep his head in chaotic surroundings.

“I am so happy, I am so proud of the team, considering where we were a few years ago, it is a pretty good achievement so I am proud to be a part of it all.

“The last few laps, when I got past Checo I knew he had a five second penalty but nothing more than that and I always seemed to struggle when I was close to the cars ahead, I was more vulnerable to cars behind.

“So I knew I had to get past him and then the Lewis penalty came up so I had to turn it up and start pushing, but it is about rhythm here and I was locking up. “It was going downhill quickly but I recovered well and I am here.”

 

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