After his team mate Carlos Sainz failed even to take the race start, Lando Norris wound up saving face for McLaren at the Belgian Grand Prix by claiming P7. But having started in P10, Norris felt that, had the race been just one lap longer, he could have finished even higher up than that…

    Norris’ strong pace in the latter stages of the race allowed him to breeze up to the back of a fight between Red Bull’s Alex Albon and Renault’s Esteban Ocon, who were squabbling over fifth place. And although Ocon was able to sail past the Red Bull on the final lap to claim P5, Norris ran out of laps to copy the move on his close friend Albon.

    READ MORE: Ocon hails ‘fantastic race’ after last-lap pass on Red Bull’s Albon to secure P5

    “One more lap and I would have had Alex,” said Norris. “I don’t know if I would have had Esteban. I think [the Renault’s] pace was much better than yesterday, shown by Daniel [Ricciardo, who finished fourth].

    “I think the only reason I caught [Ocon] was when he got a bit stuck behind Albon, but yeah, one more lap would have been lovely! I would have been quite confident I’d have got past Alex; he was struggling a lot, so a little bit frustrated from that side, but I think the rest of the race was good. I was reasonably happy.”

    Norris had a box seat for the action as Ocon passed Albon on the final lap

    Norris had initially struggled in the early phase of the race at Spa. He dropped a place to the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly on Lap 1, running off at Les Combes for good measure – while later, the Racing Point of Lance Stroll passed him for P9 at the Lap 15 Safety Car restart.

    But Norris returned the favour to Stroll Lap 36, before easily gapping the Canadian – with the McLaren driver revealing that it had been a lack of confidence in his MCL35 which had hampered him in the early part of the Grand Prix.

    READ MORE: Sainz's Belgian GP over before it starts after exhaust failure on lap to grid

    “We started off not so good – Lap 1 and the first stint was tough for me” said Norris. “I was struggling a lot with the confidence in the car and the tyre wear and everything. But the second half of the race, the weather changed a bit, cooled down, the wind died down a bit and we came into our strengths a bit more, and then I could push and managed to have better pace than Stroll and catch the other guys at the end… It's just a shame I was one lap short!

    “So a bit up and down, but it’s more points than nothing – especially because as a team, it wasn’t the best day for us with Carlos not even starting and Renault scoring a lot of points. So not ideal, but we made the best of a bad job.”

    Norris’ six points, as Racing Point scored just three and Ferrari nil, were enough to lift McLaren from fourth to third in the constructors’ standings post-Spa, with 10 races of the season left to run.


    Constructors' standings after the 2020 Belgian GP

    1 Mercedes Mercedes Mercedes 264
    2 Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing 158
    3 McLaren McLaren McLaren 68
    4 Racing Point Racing Point Racing Point 66
    5 Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 61
    6 Renault Renault Renault 59
    7 AlphaTauri AlphaTauri AlphaTauri 20
    8 Alfa Romeo Racing Alfa Romeo Racing Alfa Romeo Racing 2
    9 Haas F1 Team Haas F1 Team Haas F1 Team 1
    10 Williams Williams Williams