‘Hahaha ******** hahaha ***** yes!!!!’: Ecstatic Lando Norris makes history at F1 season opener in Austria as he becomes the youngest British driver to finish on a Grand Prix podium aged 20, showing his joy on radio
- Lando Norirs became Britain’s youngest podium finisher at Austria on Sunday
- The season opener saw the 20-year-old earn third-place after a stirring drive
- Norris also took fastest lap as he replaced Lewis Hamilton in the history books
- The McLaren star let out a scream of joy as he crossed the line on team radio
Lando Norris’ shrieks of joy down the McLaren team radio not only brought a smile to almost ever Formula One fan, but also wrote the 20-year-old into the history books.
The Bristol-born star’s stunning final lap made Norris the youngest British driver to earn a F1 podium, as he earned a bonus point for his rapid final circuit at the Austrian GP.
Norris finished behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after world champion Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-second penalty for bumping Alex Albon off the track.
Lando Norris made history with his stunning drive at the Formula One Austria GP on Sunday
The 20-year-old pulled off a rapid final lap to become Britain’s youngest podium finisher
Norris’ season-opening drive underlines his potential after a superb rookie season in 2019
The charismatic youngster – who was a rookie last season – replaces Hamilton as the nation’s most junior podium finisher, a record that has stood since the Stevenage-born icon scored third-place on his 2007 F1 debut in Australia, aged 22.
Norris let out a burst of emotion after crossing the line, screaming: ‘Hahaha ******** hahaha ***** yes!!!!’
Amid the confusion of penalties for both Hamilton and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, the Brit reigned himself in seconds later: ‘I don’t want to celebrate too much yet.’
The star was buzzing with the drive which marked a breakout performance for him
The Brit overcame late pressure from team-mate Carlos Sainz before blasting to third
Having barely caught his breath, Norris later gushed: ‘I am speechless. There were a few points in the race where I thought I had fudged it up.
‘I didn’t give up and I ended up on the podium. I had to put in some strong laps at the end and as you can see I am out of breath.’
Norris’ debut campaign in 2019 saw McLaren lead the midfield in a popular change of fortunes for the legendary British setup, constructing a launchpad for the 2020 campaign.
The Brit – a Twitch streamer alongside his driving exploits – finished sixth at Spielberg in 2019 and set himself up for better after qualifying fourth, before being bumped up a slot at the last minute thanks to Hamilton’s three-place penalty.
Lewis Hamilton’s 2007 Australia podium in his debut race aged 22 has now been bettered
Norris’ start bore striking similarities with 2019 race, diving aggressively into turn one and challenging Max Verstappen, who started on the front row before retiring with car trouble.
The McLaren driver had predicted a tough afternoon in the build-up, believing his car lacked ‘race pace’ to keep up with the Red Bulls and Mercedes around him.
Initially it looked an accurate prediction, as Verstappen pulled away before Albon and Hamilton soared past with ease.
Albon and Hamilton’s collision in the final laps handed Norris the opportunity of a podium
The British star will be brimming with confidence ahead of next week’s race back in Austria
As Perez closed-in behind, Norris stabilised his plummeting orange machine and set about conserving a points finish, unfazed by a near-miss with the Mexican in the pit-lane following a slow stop.
With five laps to race a podium still looked out of reach for the 20-year-old, who came under pressure from team-mate Carlos Sainz as Albon and Hamilton collided, sending the Thai driver to the back of the pack and slapping the six-time champion with a five-second penalty.
Norris still needed a quick final lap to secure his first podium but instead he pulled off an incredible one – setting a new fastest lap and screaming his way across the line.
The McLaren team will move into next weekend’s race – back at the Red Bull Ring amid a restructured season – brimming with confidence, with Sainz ending up in fifth to complete a perfect day out.
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