McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran has praised the performance of rookie driver Lando Norris in the first Grand Prix of the 2019 F1 season in Australia, saying the Brit “didn’t put a foot wrong” over the entire weekend in Melbourne.
Norris is in his debut campaign in the sport after moving up the junior ranks, and his boss reckons the 12th place finish in Australia shows he didn’t look out of place among the more experienced drivers.
"He did a great job overall," de Ferran told Motorsport.com.
"He really didn't put a foot wrong the whole weekend.
“A lot of control and discipline, he peaked when he had to pace-wise in qualifying, and in the race we were just unfortunate with the Giovinazzi train.
"Other than that I think he managed himself really well and frankly drove like a veteran in many ways.
“He had both to attack and defend during the race, had to manage his pace and the tyres and I think he did that very well."
De Ferran has defended Norris’ inaction in trying to get beyond Giovinazzi, as the driver will realise quickly what he could have done better.
"Listen, it's his first grand prix," said the 51-year-old.
"I'm sure if he plays it back, one would hope that he would think he could do this better and that better.
"That's one of Lando's great attributes, his ability to think through his own performance and analyse very carefully what he's doing inside the car, his decision making and so on.
“That ability to be self-critical and open-minded, in my summation, is something that's going to serve him well."