Andreas Seidl has said he didn't think Lando Norris would achieve the fastest lap that put the young driver onto the podium ahead of Lewis Hamilton at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Promoted to third on the grid following a penalty to Lewis Hamilton, Norris struggled for pace in the initial stages, but a strong showing on fresh rubber after multiple safety car periods took McLaren to a somewhat unexpected podium.
Seidl said to Sky Sports: “I’m just proud to be part of the team today. There could be nothing better for the entire team, especially, after this difficult period also than such a result, especially with P3 and P5 I think. It’s simply unbelievable."
Hamilton was handed a five second penalty for spinning the Red Bull of Alex Albon in the closing stages, but a fastest lap of the race on the final lap saw Norris finish two tenths ahead of Hamilton once the penalties were applied.
Seidl added: “To be honest, I didn’t expect him to be able to pull off that lap at the end. Obviously, we had a strategy in mind, but such a young guy pulling off such a lap on the very last lap and [being] up on the podium, it’s just great.”
As to whether Norris caught Mercedes napping, he said: “It’s difficult for me to say at the moment. Tomorrow, we need to analyse what happened in detail. Maybe they didn’t think we had the potential to do this lap, but to be honest, I don’t care.
“The good thing was that we could see throughout the race, because we had some doubts on Friday, that we could actually go at the pace of the main competitors around us.
“We were able to match Perez, we were able to match the Ferrari's in terms of pace. It depended a bit on the tyre choice and so on where we have been exactly in terms of pace, but it’s obviously very encouraging now looking ahead that we have a solid foundation for one lap, but also in the race.”
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