McLaren's Lando Norris thought he had blown his chance at his first Formula One podium at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Norris claimed third position at the Red Bull Ring by just 0.1 seconds after Lewis Hamilton was demoted down the order with a five-second penalty right after the race. The F1 sophomore, 2019's rookie of the year, barged past Racing Point's Sergio Perez in the closing stages after a spell of weathering pressure from McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz.
The British driver admitted he felt the podium opportunity slipping away.
"There were a few points where I thought I'd fudged it up a bit," he said immediately after the race. "I dropped to fifth with a few laps to go, Carlos was almost going to get past me. But I didn't give up and I managed to get past Perez and ended up on the podium.
"I mean it's a long race, but I kept going and kept giving my all, [I had] a pretty cool last few laps trying to push as much as I can. I am a bit out of breath, but I am so happy and proud of the team.
"Considering where we were a few years ago to now, I think it's a pretty good achievement, so I'm proud to be part of it."
Although Norris claimed the podium by setting the fastest lap of the race on the last lap, he was not sure
"The last few laps, when I had to get past Checo, I knew he had a five-second penalty but nothing more than that," he added.
"I always seemed to struggle when I was close to the cars ahead and more vulnerable to the guys behind. So I knew -- not just because of Lewis, because I didn't know at the time [he had a penalty], I knew I had to try to get past him.
"And then when the Lewis penalty came, I knew I had to turn it up a little bit."