Lando Norris admitted he came to Macau to win and cap off his excellent 2017 in Formula 3 that saw him take the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, so he was a little disappointed to only leave the event with only a second place finish to his name.
The Carlin driver arrived late to the 3.8-mile Circuito da Guia due to his planned test with the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team in Brazil, and after it was cancelled due to safety concerns, it left the teenager with lots of rearranged flights over a thirty-three hour period just to get to Macau.
“I came to Macau to win and finish off what has been a phenomenally successful F3 season on a high so I’m a little disappointed having only achieved second place especially as Carlin gave me a great car – as they have done all season,” said Norris.
“It’s been an enjoyable weekend and brings to an end a long week. I’d been at my São Paulo hotel last Monday for only a couple of hours and was reading the [MCL32] steering wheel manual when I was informed by McLaren that the F1 tyre test was cancelled.
“It was disappointing but the decision was made for the right reasons. Flights were quickly changed and after travelling from Brazil to Macau via Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong, I finally got to the track on Wednesday afternoon after 33 hours of travelling.”
Despite being tired, Norris took provisional pole position during the opening Qualifying session in Macau, but the second session saw him miss out on pole position by just 0.024 seconds to Joel Eriksson, but a clutch problem at the start and the decision to go low-downforce with his set-up meant he could only finish seventh during Saturday’s Qualifying race.
“I was pretty tired on Thursday but ended up on provisional ‘pole’ after fitting two new tyres,” said Norris. “That was a big step forward but in general I wasn’t hooked up 100%.
“I was disappointed not to get ‘pole’ for the qualifying race. I made a big mistake on my ‘push’ lap and then the tyres were no longer in a condition for me to mount a challenge. I had a clutch problem off the line at the start of yesterday’s Qualification Race and I dropped to ninth.
“My pace was pretty good, making up places but then the tyres went off and I lost a couple of positions.”
Norris finished second to Daniel Ticktum in Sunday’s main race after his fellow Briton pulled off a four-wide overtake on both him and Maximilian Günther, with both drivers then profiting from the final lap, final corner crashes of race leaders Ferdinand Habsburg and Sergio Sette Câmara.
“Second place in today’s GP is okay but credit to winner Dan [Ticktum] who did a great move on me as I challenged Maxi [Günther] for third going in to Lisboa,” said Norris.