LANDO Norris finished second in yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix to secure his career-best race finish – but the McLaren driver later admitted that he "would have loved to go for the win". 

Norris’s teammate, Australian racer Daniel Ricciardo, took the chequered flag to win his first race since Monaco 2018, when he was still driving for Red Bull, to make McLaren the first team this season to secure a one-two finish.

It was the Woking-based team’s first victory since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas brought his Mercedes home in third place, despite starting the race from the back of the grid after receiving a penalty for a power unit change. 

McLaren’s achievement was overshadowed by title leader Max Verstappen and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton crashing out of the race on lap 26, with the British driver’s 'halo' safety device appearing to save him from serious injury. 

Verstappen received a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Sochi, Russia, after race stewards found the Dutch driver to be "predominantly to blame" for the collision.

Mercedes driver Hamilton said after the incident: "I feel very fortunate today. Thank God for the halo which saved me and saved my neck.

"I don't think I've ever been hit on the head by a car before - and it is quite a big shock for me.”

Red Bull’s Verstappen said: "I don't fully agree with the penalty as I believe it was a racing incident.

“He just kept on pushing me wider and wider and at one point there was nowhere to go, he just pushed me onto the sausage kerb. That's why, at the end of the day, we touched.”

Norris, who grew up in Glastonbury and attended Millfield School in Street, was overtaken at the start of the race by Hamilton before regaining his position later in the opening lap.

The 21-year-old then went past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at Curva Grande after a safety car restart caused by Hamilton and Verstappen’s crash.

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Norris told Formula 1’s official website: "It’s incredible. The main thing it means for me is our result as a team. Whether I'm second, third or first, I think the best thing is just having that one-two for the team, securing the maximum points and it’s just such a cool feeling to be part of this.

“I'm happy for myself to be here again, and for us to have executed the race the way we did with the overtakes and the strategy and the defending. And happy for Daniel and the whole team because it's a pretty awesome achievement for all of us.”

With McLaren running in first and second place, Norris said on team radio that he needed his teammate Ricciardo to “pick up the pace a bit, he’s driving too slow”.

After witnessing the collision between Hamilton and Verstappen in his rear-view mirrors, Norris decided that trying to overtake his teammate – and risking a crash and the team’s 45-point haul – was not “the wisest decision”.

He said: “I don’t know why but I had a few flashes of seeing the incident between Max and Lewis, because I saw it quite well in my mirrors.

“I would have loved to go for the win.

“But our first and second, I think I’m just as happy with. The feeling I get for the team is priority over my own feeling in a way.

“I’m here for many more years I hope, especially with McLaren and the whole team, so I feel like I still have an opportunity in the future to try and go for it. But in this moment and instance, I was happy just staying where I was.”

The result leaves Norris fourth in the Drivers' World Championship with 132 points.

Eight-time race winner Ricciardo, 32, who led from the first lap after overtaking Verstappen, said: “I'll be honest, I don't think it's actually sunk in yet.

“It's actually probably the first time I've been overwhelmed by winning. I think as well because it's been over three years.

“Not that this affects me, but I just know that no one would have expected this to happen this year, especially after the first half of the year.

“Some of the speed bumps along the way make moments like this so much sweeter.”

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Andreas Seidl, McLaren team principal, said: “I’m very proud of every single member of the team back home, here at the track, colleagues at Mercedes and Lando and Daniel.

“And there was a lot of pressure today because we knew that we had a good car and we knew also that if we managed to stay ahead of one or the other car at the beginning or managed to overtake that there’s actually a chance to do something big.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but the direction is the right one.”

McLaren are third in the Constructors' Championship behind Mercedes and Red Bull but 13.5 points ahead of Ferrari.