McLaren trio of Lando Norris, Oscar Paistri and Andrea Stella talk about another big weekend in F1 Hungarian GP.

Following the success in British GP, McLaren had further in F1 Hungarian GP when Norris ended up on podium again in second while Piastri was fifth. The Brit had low start when he lost to his teammate but undercut him to regain the track position.

It was long shot to catch Max Verstappen but they were a distant second. It was a good fight with Lewis Hamilton at the start as well and he feels that they were quite close to Mercedes in race pace too. Teammate Piastri though had his troubles.

He started to lose pace midway and it was identified that he damaged his floor which cost him time. They didn’t know when it got damage but eventually that cost him performance along with tyre degradation which he thought was more on his side.

Another podium –

Norris: “It’s very different. I guess we’re very happy because it’s my first time I’ve had consecutive podiums. To be P2, I guess is a fantastic result in a car that probably shouldn’t be P2 – but I don’t know, I guess it’s not my race. I don’t have the fans there – but the fans here were also pretty good, also there’s all the papaya fans dressed in papaya here, supporting us as usual. I’m just enjoying every podium. I’ve got a long way to go. They’re all still fresh for me, and my trainer is still learning how to bring me a fresh set of clothes, and things like that. So yes, I’m still enjoying all of them. It’s not quite Silverstone – I don’t think anything ever quite will be Silverstone – but it’s another podium in a place we probably weren’t expecting a podium, which probably makes it even more special again.”

Fight against Lewis Hamilton at start –

Norris: “I don’t know, sometimes you win on it and sometimes you lose. I guess I had a decent start. I kind of went with Max and Lewis and I couldn’t go to the right, I had a big slipstream, so I came pretty much halfway alongside Lewis. It was tough to know what to do. If I brake early, then it’s easy for the people to go up the inside of me. I just kind of had to brake where I wanted to brake, and I tried to turn in, but every time I tried to turn in, Max was trying to turn in, or sorry, Lewis was trying to turn in and I got caught out, simple as that. But it happens and obviously Oscar got through, which was great. And Lewis stayed ahead, which was frustrating, but then I managed to stay on the outside. I was a bit surprised, because I would have thought he’d run me a bit wider but he didn’t. So it was close. I’m sure he was still trying but it’s very easy to lock up into Turn 2, so even going into the corner I went back of a couple clicks on brake balance just to attack a little bit more. And it worked out. So I think that saved our race today. I don’t think… If I didn’t get past Lewis there, I don’t think I would have overtaken him today because their race pace was very strong. Their general pace was very strong. I just think they didn’t execute a very good race and that overtake made me get a podium.”

Pace against Mercedes –

Norris: “That’s tough to say. I think between us and Mercedes we’re pretty tied. If you look at tyre degradation, Mercedes are way, way better than we are. Always have been. Mercedes have always been very, very strong with tyre deg. If you look at yesterday, the Mercedes was quite a bit quicker with Lewis, so I’m going to be the guy that says, no. And I believe that Mercedes are very close, but it’s tight. I think, like I said, if Lewis stayed ahead in Turn 2 they would have beaten us today and I probably wouldn’t be on the podium at all. And then you’d be saying, ‘ah, Mercedes are quicker’, but just because I overtook him you think McLaren are quicker. So, it’s tight. They’re doing a good job. But also McLaren. I’m very happy with them. They’ve done an excellent job.”

How it unravelled after start –

Piastri: “I think just tyre deg was the killer for me. Not 100 percent sure why yet, clearly something for me to look at. I think it’s one of the first races where I’ve had a race with so much deg, multiple pit stops, so there’s plenty for me to learn. But I think that was the sole key to my race; I think I made life easy for myself in the first stint, and then it kind of unravelled from there. Plenty of things to try and improve on but to have the struggles that I did and still come away with the top five is quite a nice position to be in.”

Fight at start –

Piastri: To be racing against those guys, and on merit, two weekends in a row now is very exciting. To have this kind of track, these kinds of conditions – which were conditions of our nightmares at the start of the season or even a few races ago – it’s full credit to the team of the turnaround we’ve managed to make. To have the struggles that I did, compared to Lando, and still finish fifth highlights what a good job the team have been doing with the development of the car.”

Lando Norris’ performance, strategy –

Stella: “In terms of the undercut that we had at the first stop, you just go really with the sequence that is natural, because you cover with the car that is more at risk. Then you cover with the other car. Lando’s out lap was just super, super quick, which meant Oscar lost the position. Our approach to these situations is to think about the team first. We think as a team, and then we deal with the internal situation. When you are fighting against other competitors outside your team, you need to be very careful that you don’t engage in an internal battle that will cost the team. I mentioned already that if we watch last year’s race, maybe that’s what happened with the red car. It was very expensive. So we want to stay away from that. Then in the second stint, we saw that Lando had a bit more pace. But in fairness, we have to also mention that Oscar had damage on his car. This meant that Oscar lost a bit of time from a performance point of view, but also we think… because this was rear downforce, this caused extra degradation of the tires. And that’s part of the reason why Oscar struggled then to keep up not only with Lando, but also with the other cars coming behind him.”

Oscar Piastri’s damage –

Stella: “Oscar knew. The team did inform him. It was a busy day on the pit wall. … I may be confusing what we thought we should say with what we say. But I’m pretty sure that we informed him. Oscar is a driver who doesn’t look for excuses. I’m not surprised that he might not even mentioned it. But it’s there. We think the damage happened actually in running wide on a kerb, not necessarily and only at the time when he went off track while fighting with Sergio Perez. So, there may be both times that this damage to the car happened. At the same time, yes, we also need to look at how the tyres were used. Like how much of a price did we pay by pushing at the start of the stint in terms of overall degradation throughout the stint. If you analyse how Hamilton approaches, Hamilton just goes very, very slow at the start, and then there’s a premium coming back at the end of the stint with this kind of approach.

“Inside the cockpit, it’s always difficult to understand what impact the early laps of a stint will have towards the end of the stint. That’s the situation with Oscar. The running over the kerb in Hungary definitely creates damage to the floor. This happened in free practice at some stage, during this weekend. We see it, because the floor is fully instrumented. There’s a lot of pressure sensors. You can see that the trace of these pressure sensors changes. So you know that something has happened. Then you also measure the forces acting on the car. We could see this not only in the pressure sensors, but also on the forces measured through the push rods. So it was definitely a fact.”

Here’s Max Verstappen, Lando Norris on trophy scene