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Norris speechless after securing first F1® podium

06/07/20

The Briton made a stunning last lap charge.

Lando Norris was speechless after earning his first podium in Formula 1® at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

In the final stages after a third safety car was deployed in a frantic finale, the McLaren driver set the fastest lap time of the race on the final lap to deny Lewis Hamilton a spot in the top three.

Hamilton crossed the line second to Valtteri Bottas but ended up behind Charles Leclerc and Norris in the final classification due to a five-second time penalty for a collision with Alex Albon.

"I'm speechless," Norris said ahead of the podium ceremony.

"There's a few points in the race where I thought I'd fudged it up quite a bit. I dropped to fifth with a few laps to go, Carlos [Sainz] was almost getting past me, but I didn't give up and I managed to get back past Perez and I ended up on the podium.

"It was a long race, but I kept going, kept trying to give it my all. A pretty cool last few laps, having to push as much as I can – I'm a bit out of breath!

"I'm so happy. I'm proud of the team considering where we were a few years ago, to last year to now, I think it's a pretty cool achievement so I'm proud to be part of it all.

"The last few laps when I had to get past Checo [Sergio Perez] I knew he had a five-second penalty but nothing more than that.

"I was vulnerable to the guys behind, but I had to try and get past him and then there was the Lewis penalty that came up, so I had to turn it up a little bit and start pushing.

"It's a lot about rhythm here... and it was going downhill quite quickly but I recovered and I'm here so I'm very happy."

Bottas and Hamilton were told to stay off the kerbs at the midway point due to gearbox sensor issues, meaning they came under intense pressure when the safety car was deployed for a second and third time.

Bottas said: "There was definitely quite a bit of pressure on through the race. One safety car was still okay, but with the last one I was like 'Come on, again!'

"There were so many chances for Lewis to get the lead if I made a small mistake. He was very quick today, but I managed to keep it together and control the race from my side, so there's no better way to start the season.

"We had to manage the car quite a lot so we couldn't really use all the kerbs so at some points I was quite worried if it would be okay, but I'm glad all the cars managed to finish, and [in] the team standings we are leading so that's a very good start."