The Suzuka race was a milestone event for McLaren, with Lando Norris and team-mate Oscar Piastri securing the team’s first dual podium of the season, finishing in second and third places respectively.
Even though Norris finished with a 19-second deficit from race winner, Verstappen, his team-mate Piastri displayed a powerful performance, overtaking Charles Leclerc to place third and bag his maiden F1 podium.
In his post-race remarks, Norris expressed his elation, saying, “Another amazing day for us. P2 and P3, so we couldn’t have asked for any more. The team did an amazing job. My start was very good. I almost had Max, but Max is Max as well.”
He acknowledged the intense competition coming particularly from Verstappen at Turn 2, setting aside his disappointment and expressing satisfaction with the team’s overall performance, commenting that, “the pace was extremely strong today, compared to everyone.”
The day was particularly memorable for Piastri, who clinched his first F1 podium on his 16th racing weekend. Reflecting on his achievement, he diverted credit to his team, saying, “It feels pretty special. Definitely, I will remember for a very, very long time, so I can’t thank the team enough for giving me this opportunity.”
Norris also asserted McLaren‘s relentless pursuit of Red Bull, stating, “We’re pushing, we’re getting there”, demonstrating pride for the progress the team has made, and hailing the day as ‘a good moment for us’.
Piastri summed up his experience on the podium, saying, “There are not many people in the world that get this opportunity in their whole life. And I’ve managed to have it in my first season. So thank you very much to the team. It wasn’t my best race ever. But it was enough to get a trophy at the end. So yeah, super happy.”