McLaren earned Italian GP one-two
By Mat Coch
Monday 13th September, 2021 - 4:38am
Lando Norris believes McLaren earned its one-two finish at the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix and it was not a product of good fortune.
Norris trailed team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to the flag in the team’s first one-two finish since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.
It was also the team’s first win in nine years, and Ricciardo’s first since Monaco 2018.
The result came about after the Australian made a strong start to head Max Verstappen in the opening stint.
He then had the Red Bull covered, despite an early pace disadvantage, and looked poised to retain the lead following the pit stop cycle.
However, a slow stop dropped Verstappen behind Norris, the second McLaren having fended off Lewis Hamilton in the early stages.
Following his own stop, Hamilton rejoined behind Norris, and alongside Verstappen in what proved to be a decisive moment of the race.
However, by that stage, both McLarens were ahead of the pre-race favourites and championship leaders, giving them the upper hand when it came to managing the race.
“I think a lot of times you’ve seen other people win is because of a bit of luck here and there,” Norris said.
“But I think all weekend we’ve just done a very good job.
“We were in the right place at the right time and we’ve done a good job with the strategies.
“We had a fast car and we maximised everything we had, so I don’t think there was any luck with what we did this weekend.
“I’m sure many people will think we’re lucky because the other two crashed, but Daniel was ahead from the beginning and led the race,” he added.
Ricciardo shared Norris’ opinion, suggesting the victory is extra sweet because of the journey McLaren has been on in recent years.
“That’s where I think we, as a team, can take so much fulfilment today,” the Australian said.
“We earned it today, you know.
“We were putting ourselves in a great position. [The] Team made good pitstops, so like we put ourselves in a winning position.
“There wasn’t circumstances,” he added.
“I think that’s where we can really sleep tonight, knowing that we earned every bit of this today.”
Ricciardo also snagged the bonus point for fastest lap, ensuring he left Monza with 27 points to his tally, when including the point for finishing third in Sprint Qualifying.
Coupled with the 18 scored by Norris, McLaren has regained third in the constructors’ championship over Ferrari, with a 14 point advantage.
Formula 1 next heads to Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix on September 24-26.