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Lando Norris

Norris stunned by shock podium: 'I had everything ready to go home early'

Lando Norris claimed a surprise second place at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix splitting the two Red Bull drivers.

Norris China gp
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris has conceded that he had "everything ready to go home early" ahead of Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix, as he anticipated a disappointing race.

It turned out to be the complete opposite for the McLaren driver who split Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to secure second place at the Shanghai International Circuit, marking his second podium of 2024.

Norris made a strong start and capitalised on a mid-race safety car after Valtteri Bottas stopped on circuit, allowing him to make a cheap pit-stop which elevated him ahead of Perez.

The Briton ran a long opening stint which moved him ahead of the likes of Perez who pitted prior to the safety car.

Even when the field was bunched up following the conclusion of the neutralised conditions, neither Perez or Charles Leclerc had any answer to Norris' pace.

He explained how surprised he was after the race to finish on the podium, particularly after he struggled with tyre management so much in the sprint race on Saturday.

"Surprised, so I'm very happy, I'm happy for the whole team they deserve it," said Norris. "Good pitstops, just today worked out, I don't know why I really wasn't expecting it to be the kind of race we had today.

"But got comfortable could manage the tyres a lot which was a much easier task than what I had yesterday.

"And I could just push, the car felt great and felt comfortable. So good day, good points and another podium. So very happy."

Norris loses bet

On the topic of surprises, one of the biggest shocks for Norris was Ferrari's lack of pace and the fact McLaren could compete with at least Perez.

This was not what Norris expected ahead of the fifth round of the season, leaving him very happy.

"I mean, I was surprised by many things," revealed Norris. "The lack of pace from Ferrari today, our good pace, and I guess more us comparing to the Red Bull which was so surprising.

"So yeah, I mean, I just wasn't expecting today at all. I got everything ready to go home early and not be on the podium.

"So it's a pleasant surprise, but it shows the team have done a good job. We're working hard and it's paying off."

Comically, Norris made a bet with his team prior to the race over how far behind Ferrari would finish.

Norris' prediction that Ferrari would finish 35 seconds behind the winner was incredibly wrong, as Leclerc in fourth finished just 23.6 secs adrift of Verstappen.

"I made a bet to how far behind the Ferrari we would finish today," shared Norris. "And I thought 35 seconds and I was very wrong by that.

"So yeah, I'm happy to be wrong with myself from my own bets. But yeah, good day for everyone."

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