McLaren pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris had a solid F1 Singapore GP with a double points finish as they overtook Alpine in the standings.

From what looked like to be a difficult weekend for McLaren in F1 Singapore GP, it turned out to be a best one where they finished just outside the podium which helped them to leapfrog Alpine in the constructors’ standings by four points.

The double retirement for Alpine also played in the hands of McLaren along with the timely safety car which allowed them to double-stack and help Ricciardo gain places to be behind Norris. Mistakes from Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton further helped their cause.

Norris pretty stayed in the Top 5 fight and had a good one against Verstappen where the Dutchman made a mistake to drop out. After that, he had a clean end to collect 12 points in all. “Fair play to him, Ricciardo has done a great job, we maximised the race,” he said. “Literally could not have done any better.

“So, great job by everyone, by the whole strategy team as well. Maximised in the race especially when others had some troubles. Happy, great weekend – not an easy one. It felt like one of our worst to begin with, but ending up almost being one of our best of the year.

“Regarding Verstappen, he was pretty slow to get going – I don’t know why. I was quite surprised that I was able to catch him as much as I did. But I think even if I was one second quicker, I would never have passed him.

“Max obviously tried to pass me, and he went straight on. Maybe at the end it was a bit easier; I wouldn’t have had a chance. The pace was good, I feel like I drove a very good race and smart race, and it paid off for both myself and for Daniel too. Fourth and fifth was much higher than [our] expectation,” summed Norris.

For Ricciardo, it was a mighty recovery from 16th to fifth. He made a good start and hovered around the Top 10 when the safety car was thrown out. Having not stopped for long, the Australian managed to gain track position over several cars in front.

Having had a rough run until Sunday, it was the result that not just Ricciardo needed but also McLaren. “We needed this, and as much as I’m looking forward to Japan I want to enjoy this one,” he said. “I feel with the result, you know, I certainly feel good.

“It’s been a long time. I think my last top five was probably a year ago in Saudi… so yeah I hadn’t had one this year, which is kind of sad, but we know the year it’s been and I feel like I was certainly due some good fortune.

“As tempting as it sounded to take slicks before the Safety Car, it wasn’t the right call, so we [bided] our time and we were able to gain on the others during that phase and then there was a Safety Car – and then we made a very big gain with the Tsunoda incident.

“That was a good situation for us and finally, got back into the points, and obviously a very big day for the team. So, we leave Sunday happy. It’s been a long time,” summed up Ricciardo, as team boss Andres Seidl credited Andrea Stella for good management.

He felt the execution was done perfectly in difficult circumstances. “The team did an excellent job together with both drivers in very tricky conditions in order to maximise the result,” said McLaren chief Seidl to media including “The team on the pit wall together with good communication with the drivers found the right balance between trying to achieve a great result, but at the same time being patient and not take any unnecessary risks.

“The most important thing today was, and I have to say that it was really well handled by Andrea Stella as our race director, together with the entire team, to make sure that the good result which was on our table today, seeing where we were in the first stint, to not get impatient and suddenly try to take unnecessary risk.

“Obviously it was good to watch what George was doing after he switched so early to the medium tyres and it was clear after a certain point that it would just have meant an unnecessary risk to switch too early. That in the end I think locked in the position that Daniel was in anyway and of course, then on Daniel’s side we benefited from I think the Virtual Safety Car and by staying out long.”

Here’s how F1 Singapore GP panned out