LANDO Norris secured his and McLaren’s first six points of the new Formula 1 season yesterday with a seventh-place finish at the Jeddah Corniche street circuit in Saudi Arabia.

The 22-year-old racing driver, who is from Glastonbury, believes McLaren can be “satisfied” with their points haul, which came a week after the team endured a torrid start to the season in Bahrain.

Norris finished in 15th at the first race of the season in Sakhir with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo finishing one place ahead.

On Saturday, Norris qualified in seventh in the Arabian night, placing him between the AlphaTauris of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda.

He crossed the finish line in the same position as he started after an exciting battle with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in the closing stages of the race.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen, who races for Red Bull, won the Grand Prix after he passed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with four laps remaining.

Reflecting on the weekend, Norris said: “I think we can be satisfied with P7 and some decent points, that was the aim for today.

“We would have loved to have got P6, and maybe it was possible, but we’re still happy with P7.”

Somerset County Gazette: Lando Norris drives the McLaren MCL36 at pre-season testing in Barcelona. Picture: Bradley Collyer, PA WireLando Norris drives the McLaren MCL36 at pre-season testing in Barcelona. Picture: Bradley Collyer, PA Wire

Eight-time race winner Ricciardo qualified in 12th but started the race in 15th after receiving a three-place grid penalty for impeding Ocon in qualifying.

With 13 laps remaining, the Australian driver ground to a halt and told his engineers he had “no drive” – making him one of five drivers to retire due to mechanical issues.

“It’s a real shame about Daniel because we could have had two cars in the points today, which would have been a very satisfying day,” added Norris.

“It’s good to see that there was a bit more pace in the car today, and we can make progress. But we’re still not where we want to be, so we’ll keep pushing.”

Despite his second successive weekend without scoring points, Ricciardo said the weekend was “a small step in the right direction” and provided a platform for the Woking-based team to build on.

“The end result was obviously not what I wanted, but this weekend was more promising, and we performed better on this track,” he said.

“Without the issue that ended my race, we could’ve had both cars finishing in the points.

“It's positive to see Lando get some points for the team after a decent battle.

“We’ve still got a lot to improve but we’re in a better place than Bahrain.”


McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl praised Norris for his “good result” and apologised to Ricciardo for his mechanical failure, which the team will assess when they return to HQ.

“We know we need to keep working hard in order to deliver more performance to the car, so points like today are great motivation to keep pushing,” he said.

“The team will head home tonight (Sunday, March 27) after three intense weeks in the Middle East and take a short break and reset before gearing up for Melbourne.”

Read more: Lando Norris signs new agreement to stay at McLaren until the end of 2025 

The second-ever Saudi Arabia Grand Prix was marred by security concerns following a missile attack 12 miles from the track.

Friday’s second free practice session was delayed by 15 minutes after a nearby fuel depot was attacked, leading to the drivers holding a meeting for nearly four hours in the paddock which lasted into the early hours of Saturday morning.

A satellite news channel run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed they had attacked an Aramco facility.

After the drivers spoke among themselves and with “our team principals and with the most senior people who run our sport”, it was decided the event would go ahead as planned with security measures “elevated to the maximum”.