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Emilia Romagna GP: Lando Norris hails McLaren's teamwork after P3 finish in Imola

Lando Norris finished on the podium for a second year in a row in Imola; McLaren's CEO Zak Brown backs the 22-year-old to take a race win soon, with Nico Rosberg saying he sees a 'future world champion' in his performances

Lando Norris
Image: Lando Norris praised the performance of the team as he delivered a podium finish for the second year in a row in Imola

Lando Norris hailed McLaren's teamwork and focus on the "small things" after securing P3 at the Emilia Romagna GP.

Norris started Sunday's race fifth on the grid and after a good start, he produced another mature and clean drive over the course of the 63 laps.

It's the second year in a row Norris has been on the podium in Imola and means he now sits in sixth position in the Drivers' Championship, well beyond team-mate Daniel Ricciardo back in 11th.

Testing and the start of the season was plagued with challenges for McLaren, but Norris' P3 finish highlights strides they're making and his own continued development as a driver.

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Take a look at the highlights of the Emilia Romagna GP from Imola

"We worked so hard in Bahrain and got so little out of it, and we put even more effort into the last two races. It's nice to see it paying off," Norris said to Sky Sports F1.

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"We've brought some small things - nothing which has just boosted us up into P3 [though].

"The teamwork and the pit stops were amazing, I don't think that today, and this weekend, was all about the car. It was how we executed the weekend that gave us this result - the starts, the strategies, qualifying, judging the tyres.

"The smaller things that you probably don't get to see, got us the podium."

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Zak Brown surprises Norris during his interview with Rachel Brookes after the driver's P3 finish

Norris signed a four-year extension with McLaren in early February and the new deal means that he has the longest contract on the F1 grid.

"This a strong message to put across to everyone the faith we have in each other," he said.

"Big thanks to Andreas [Seidl], Zak [Brown] and all of McLaren for having this faith in me. Of course it also shows the faith I have in McLaren and what they will be able to achieve in the next few years."

Brown, who labelled Norris' performance in Imola as a "mega drive", continues to be extremely happy with the 22-year-old's work and progression.

"He's doing a great job; he's very consistent, very fast and doesn't make mistakes," McLaren's CEO said.

"Hopefully, we can give him a car to win a race sometime so because he's certainly ready for it."

Rosberg: Norris driving like future world champion

Lando Norris celebrating his P3 finish on the podium
Image: Lando Norris celebrating his P3 finish on the podium

Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, is another who has been taken by Norris' development since his arrival in Formula 1.

"In Lando, I think we're seeing a future world champion in his drives," Rosberg said on Sky Sports F1.

"Phenomenal stuff, there are no mistakes. It's really impressive and a great job by McLaren to secure his services for so many years.

"McLaren in the first race they were 15th, how an earth have they turned it around so much? I think Toto [Wolff] needs to give Zak Brown a call for some tips there. It's really impressive."

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Join us for the inaugural Miami GP on Sunday, May 8 live on Sky Sports F1

Next stop for every team will be the inaugural race in Miami on May 6-8.

It's one that Brown and McLaren cannot wait for, especially with Norris driving as well as he is. As a team, they'll also look for Ricciardo to put a difficult day in Imola behind him, after his early contact on Carlos Sainz put him to the back of the field and Sainz out.

"I think it might be the biggest race in Formula 1, at least as a debut," Brown said about the Miami GP.

"All of our corporate partners and fans… Formula 1 is in such great shape at the moment and long may it continue. I think Miami is going to be outstanding."

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