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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Norris feared Q1 exit earlier than “shock” third in Spanish GP qualifying

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The Briton finished 11th in FP1 on Friday, which he says was “most likely one in all our worst FP1s of the season when it comes to tempo,” earlier than going on to finish 14th in FP2.

He improved to 10th in a rain-hit FP3 on Saturday morning earlier than finishing third in qualifying, regardless of saying he “would not say we felt anyplace close to this good.”

Requested whether or not he was stunned by the end result, Norris mentioned: “I’d say, yeah. After FP1 we mentioned it was most likely one in all our worst FP1s of the season when it comes to tempo. So to be sat right here at present, I believe it is fairly a giant shock for all of us.

“I believe the cooler situations, issues simply began to come back our manner a bit of bit.

“So yeah, it simply feels a bit odd, I undoubtedly wasn’t considering in any respect to be within the prime three at present, however I am very blissful to be right here, so a very good day.”

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He added: “I am shocked to be right here. We have not likely introduced something to the automotive this weekend, the final improve we had was Baku with the ground and even that did not give us a whole lot of efficiency, only a totally different path to go in.

“We have not likely introduced too many massive issues, just a few very small issues that clearly assist a bit of bit.

“In a great way, I am blissful, however we did not actually change something this weekend, it is the identical automotive that we have been fighting, so managed to see some good factors from it.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Norris mentioned he thought it was “going to be powerful to get out of Q1” after Friday’s working, which noticed team-mate Oscar Piastri additionally end outdoors the highest 10.

He accepted that the automotive is “nonetheless fairly poor in lots of areas” however acknowledged that the brand new format, with the chicane eliminated, has helped the staff.

Norris was the primary driver onto the intermediate tyres in FP3 earlier than additionally being the primary to change to slicks, and says he tends to check totally different methods “for my very own feeling and confidence.”

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Requested by Autosport whether or not his FP3 technique had given him a confidence increase into qualifying, Norris mentioned: “I really feel like I are likely to all the time be one of many first to strive these items for my very own feeling and confidence, I are likely to do fairly a bit.

“I felt respectable, I would not say we felt anyplace close to this good, and like I mentioned on Friday, all of us sat down and have been considering it was going to be powerful to get out of Q1.

“I do know generally we outperform that fairly a bit and we do nicely, however I believe other than possibly Bahrain this was our worst Friday of the season.

“I actually wasn’t that hopeful however issues simply appeared to come back collectively, I felt like different individuals struggled a bit extra at present than possibly us overperforming or being our true potential.

“Like I say, we have not likely modified the automotive that a lot, so there was nothing which was giving me a whole lot of confidence or any causes we have been going to be that good at present.

“We’re nonetheless fairly poor in lots of areas however excessive velocity has all the time been one in all our strengths for years and sluggish velocity fairly the alternative so I believe this format has helped us, definitely benefitted us a bit extra.

“I believe already FP2 I used to be flat in Flip 3, flat in Flip 9, most likely one of many few guys other than Pink Bull who did that.

“It is a observe the place extra of the strengths are capable of be proven. Though Monaco wasn’t dangerous, we do battle within the low-speed corners, in order that’s the world we all know we need to take massive steps ahead.”

Extra reporting by Alex Kalinauckas

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