Norris: McLaren P3 helped by ‘perfect combination’ with Sainz

Lando Norris says the friendship and competitiveness he shared with McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz was an important part of the Woking-based outfit’s successful 2020 season.

In F1’s finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Norris and Sainz delivered a double top-ten finish to McLaren that allowed the Woking-based outfit to snatch third in the Constructors’ championship from midfield rival Racing Point.

McLaren has improved all round in the past twelve months with the effects of the team’s significant structural changes taking hold.

But Norris believes his partnership with Sainz was also an important ingredient in his team’s progress and in its ability to secure a spot on the championship’s podium.

©McLaren

“That has been one of the most important things in achieving P3 this year was the combination of good mates and good friendship but also how competitive and how much we want to beat each other,” Norris said.

“I think when you put them both together you get the perfect combination to get P3.

“There’s been a lot of races this year when we’ve executed things very well as a team between us and we’ve scored much better results because of that.

“That’s because I respect Carlos, he respects me and we wanted us to do the best job for the team and things like today demonstrate that perfectly in our teamwork.”

    Read also: McLaren snatches Constructors’ podium after ‘stressful’ evening in Abu Dhabi

Sainz, who will open a new exciting chapter in his F1 career next year when he moves to Ferrari, said that Sunday’s result and McLaren’s reward of securing third in the championship were the “best way to sign off”

“Very happy, very happy for everyone,” Sainz said. “I think we deserve it. We’ve done an incredible year. It hasn’t been easy because we’ve not been third quickest at times.”I think great execution, a great job by everyone back at base. Congratulations and I think it’s the best way to sign off my time with McLaren.

“It’s been an incredible two seasons for me. I am extremely happy to be part of this great progression. The team that is always getting better and better.

“I have obviously a new challenge ahead of me that I can’t wait for to be honest but at least today, it’s time to celebrate with McLaren, time to enjoy this last couple of years, time to reflect and make sure we celebrate properly P3 because it’s huge for this team.

“It just shows that the team is going in the right direction so I am very happy.”

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