Lando Norris might have missed out on a chance to score his second Formula 1 Grand Prix victory of the season, but he’s not complaining after what proved to be a pretty perfect performance in Montreal.

Norris started the Canadian Grand Prix from third place on the grid and bided his time at the start. But when the cars ahead started to struggle for grip in the changeable circumstances, Norris came alive.

He was able to pick off first Max Verstappen and then George Russell to take the lead of the race on lap 21. However the timing of the first safety car for Logan Sargeant’s retirement did not work to his advantage.

Norris has pulled out such a big lead over his rivals that he was too far down the road to react in time and dive down pit lane, and had to do another lap before coming in which allowed Verstappen to take the lead.

In some ways it was payback for what happened in Miami, which had been pivotal in Norris securing his maiden victory. This time it helped Verstappen, leading to a Red Bull radio message declaring “what goes around, comes around”.

Norris subsequently tried to use an overcut to get back ahead of Verstappen but this narrowly failed to pay off. he was able to pass Russell to secure himself second place at the finish and considered it a good day’s work.

“It was chaos!” he declared after the finish. “It was eventful. To be honest, I felt like I drove a good race the whole time from start to finish.

Second placed Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren in parc ferme.
09.06.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images

“The first two stints were very strong. I had amazing pace,” he continued. “The first stint I was in lead by, what, 10, 12 seconds, pulling away probably two to three seconds a lap. Things were going beautifully.

“Then the Safety Car had me,” he continued. “Just like it helped me in Miami, it’s now had me back over. Of course it’s Montreal, so there’s always something that’s got to come into play.

“Honestly I thought it was a pretty perfect race from my side,” he insisted. “Just a bit unlucky, but that’s what it is. It helped me out in Miami, so I’m not going to be the one to complain. It happens. That’s racing sometimes.

“But it was good, fair play to Max, he drove a good race, no mistakes. It’s good fun, I’m happy with second, good points for team so a good weekend for us.

“It was good fun,” he said. “These conditions are so stressful inside the car, but very enjoyable at the same time. “I drove a good race, the car’s been great all weekend, so thanks to team.

“We’re close! It’s nice to be so close once again and on the podium, so we’ll keep fighting.”

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38 makes a pit stop.
09.06.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

While Oscar Piastri started alongside Norris on an all-McLaren second row, the Australian lost out in the torrid Sunday afternoon race and ended up finishing in P5 behind both Mercedes drivers.

“Just maybe a few things in the race where if we did things a little bit better, myself and the team, we could have had a bit of a better result. Or maybe a better chance of a better result.

“At the end we were a little bit vulnerable to the Mercedes on new tyres,” he commented. “Being the first car that they were going to attack, it meant I had my work cut out for me.

“A lap or two more, I think they would have got Lando as well. It looked very close,” he suggested.

“On a weekend where it could have gone so wrong, both in qualifying and the race, I think to come away with such a decent haul of points – the top-scoring team for the weekend – is a solid result.”

In fact a bonus point for fastest lap for Lewis Hamilton meant that Mercedes and McLaren were equal on 28 points in Montreal. Verstappen’s win meant Red Bull were close behind on 25 points despite Sergio Perez failing to finish.

There were no points for Ferrari with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz retiring from Sunday’s race. It means that McLaren have closed up to just 40 points behind the Italian Scuderia after nine rounds of the 2024 championship.

Norris is just seven points behind Leclerc in the drivers standings and had a 23 point advantage over Sainz, his original team mate at McLaren

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