Lando Norris had chances of overtaking Daniel Ricciardo on the straights of Baku but followed team orders to finish on the ninth position.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified 13th while Lando Norris started at the ninth position at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Both the drivers were on a different strategy as Norris started on medium while Ricciardo started on hard tires.
The Australian had a great pace in the beginning driving faster than his teammate. Despite the pace, sticking to the position was the right choice as guided by the race engineer.
Norris switched to the hard compound tires on lap 20 after Charles Leclerc retired due to his engine package issue.
Lando Norris instructed to hold a position by the race engineers
Lando Norris was faster on the harder compound tires being half a second faster as noted by both the commentators during the race. Daniel Ricciardo switched to mediums right after the Virtual Safety Car on lap 33 and was ahead of Norris right after the pitstop.
While the Honey Badger was battling with Fernando Alonso for the seventh position, he was quite slower than Norris. The number 4 driver tried to get ahead of Ricciardo in an attempt to fight with Alonso.
However, McLaren’s race engineer instructed by stating: “Hold position. It’s a good result for the team and appreciates it.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) June 12, 2022
Playing the good teammate role
During the post-race interview, Lando Norris addressed the situation of going ahead of Ricciardo. He added: “Well, he [Ricciardo] just had the luck of the VSC pitstop and he came out on the medium at the end. So I just would have thought he had a bit more pace and could attack Fernando [Alonso] much better.”
Norris challenge Ricciardo during the ending laps of the race but did fulfil the team orders as instructed. He went on to finish ninth while his Australian finished eighth.
McLaren finally had their double points finish for the first time. The British driver deserves the credit for not overtaking his teammate and sticking to the team’s plans.
In conclusion, Norris discussed how being a team player at that particular point in the race was essential. He stated: “I am a team player so I accepted that I couldn’t overtake at the end, and I couldn’t go for the position.”