Following up his top-ten qualifying with a P4 in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Andreas Seidl has declared that Lando Norris has made “the next step”.
Norris put in one of the standout performances under the lights at the Sakhir circuit as he went wheel-to-wheel with his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, battled with Charles Leclerc and put in a solid drive to finish fourth.
Calling it a “very controlled race”, his McLaren team boss Seidl was impressed with the 21-year-old.
“I think we have seen all weekend, especially in qualifying and the race, that Lando made the next step,” the German told Autosport.
“It’s something we ought to expect from a young driver, especially in his first years, to make these steps because that’s how you become a top guy in this sport.
“It was great to see how he pulled it off because it really was a very controlled race from his side.
“He pushed when he had to push and he controlled the race when he was in a position to control it.”
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Seidl says there were signs of Norris’ growth as a driver throughout the race weekend, from the way he communicates with the team to his tyre management over the course of the 56-lap race.
“If I look at the way he works together with his engineers, how he communicates during a practice session, during qualifying, during the race, under stress, you simply see he was building up the experience and the confidence over the last two years,” he said.
“Now he implements again everything digested over winter and he has learned from himself, and that results in the lap times and the performance in the race.
“I think tyre management, he did a sensational job, he would push when it was needed. He was fully under control and that was obviously great to see.”
McLaren secured a double points-haul in Bahrain with Daniel Ricciardo P7 on his debut with the team.
Seidl said: “I’m very happy with what the team pulled off this weekend because I think the hard work everyone has put in over winter was paying off,” he added.
“The gap for example, to [winner] Lewis [Hamilton], was only about 45 seconds I think.
“In a race where these guys at the front were flat out that’s an encouraging sign, because it confirms again we made a good step forward with the car.”