Norris escaped “big hit” during closing stages in Baku

The Englishman survived the contact and brought his McLaren-Renault safely home in eighth place, behind team mate Carlos Sainz. It was the rookie’s second score in his first four starts, following his sixth place in Bahrain.

“I had a few wall hits,” Norris told Motorsport.com. “I had one three or four laps from the end, which I got pretty nervous about, because it was quite a big hit. But I managed to hang on, the car was all fine, thankfully.

“It’s not an easy track to not ever make a big mistake that costs us in a big way. I have made some here and there, but nothing which cost us position or points.”

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Norris spent the first part of the race chasing Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, while holding off Sainz. However late in the race he made a second tyre stop which cost him only one spot, to his team mate, and thus did not impact the team’s score.

“It was not an easy race,” he said. “I was obviously stuck behind Checo for most of it, apart from the end. I just didn’t really have the straightline speed to attempt to pass him at all. A bit frustrating as we had the overall pace to do a little bit better, but from a team perspective, a double points finish, I’m happy.

“As you could tell, it was still not easy for anyone to pass, even though Carlos had even better pace, he couldn’t pass Checo either. It was a tough one, but I’ll take what we got.”