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Seidl praises ‘sensational’ Austrian GP drives from Norris and Ricciardo, as he says penalty cost team P2

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A third podium of the year for Lando Norris, double points courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo, and outscoring rivals Ferrari – there was much for McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl to be pleased about after the Austrian Grand Prix, with the only dampener being a controversial penalty that, according to Seidl, may have cost Norris a P2 finish.

Saturday was a day of mixed fortunes for the McLaren drivers at the Red Bull Ring, Ricciardo qualifying P13 for the second week in a row – while after taking P4 on the grid for the Styrian Grand Prix, Norris went two better this time, claiming an astounding P2 for his best ever start in F1.

READ MORE: ‘He put himself in the gravel’ – Norris hits out at Perez penalty after having to settle for P3

But Ricciardo recovered well in the race to finish seventh – while Norris might have finished even higher than his P3 had a penalty for forcing Sergio Perez off the track not been handed out to the Briton…

“I'm very happy with the outcome of the race and the performance we could show on both cars,” said Seidl. “[But] I think there was a chance to go for P2 without this penalty. I also disagree with the penalty.

2021 Austrian Grand Prix: Pérez loses places after thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle with Norris

“It's at the beginning of the race; in [FIA Race Director] Michael Masi's view, he would say that you learn in karting already if you go there on the outside, you will end up in the gravel and I think with the cars being side-by-side there, I don't think that's a penalty.

“But it is what it is,” added Seidl. “That's history. We look forward. It's great to score all these points today for the constructors' championship, more than Ferrari as well, which was a goal obviously today – and a podium in addition with the impressive pace that we could show today.

READ MORE: Race Director Masi explains reasoning behind controversial penalties for Norris and Perez in Austria

“Let's focus on the positives: sensational race [and] weekend in the end from the team, from Lando, and a sensational recovery also today from Daniel.”

It’s not been an easy first nine races at McLaren for Ricciardo, who only once has outraced Norris this season – while he’s also been outqualified 3-6 by his team mate.

Daniel Ricciardo happy to be back 'enjoying it out there' after P7 finish in Austria

But Seidl said he hoped that Ricciardo’s strong performance in the second Red Bull Ring race would give the Australian a boost going into the British Grand Prix.

“After a strong race here last week, it was great to see that we could increase our performance again and be in a position to battle the top cars with Lando – [but] I’m just as happy with Daniel’s performance,” said Seidl.

READ MORE: ‘I needed that’ – Ricciardo happy to overcome qualifying struggles with ‘fun’ run to P7 in Austrian GP

“I was very happy that Daniel could pull off this race today. A very controlled race from his side with a lot of pressure from behind throughout, but he was managing his tyres, he was managing the gaps, and I'm very happy. Hopefully that gives him now additional energy again in the next two weeks in order to make the next step then in Silverstone.”

logo 2021Constructors' standings after the Austrian GP

PositionTeam NamePoints
1Red Bull RacingRed Bull Racing286
2MercedesMercedes242
3McLarenMcLaren141
4FerrariFerrari122
5AlphaTauriAlphaTauri48
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