Lando Norris was pretty happy with his performance during Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix despite missing out on an appearance in the top ten shootout on Saturday.
The McLaren F1 Team racer felt a small mistake cost him the chance to make it into the top ten, missing out by the smallest of margins, but he will move up one place to tenth on the grid once Daniel Ricciardo’s grid penalty from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is applied.
Norris hopes the long-run pace he achieved during free practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya translates into a strong performance on Sunday as he bids for his third points finish of the season in just the fifth Grand Prix of his career.
“I’m pretty happy,” said Norris. “I improved almost everywhere on my final push laps but maybe a small mistake cost me a couple of places and ultimately a place in Q3. We knew from yesterday quali wasn’t going to be amazing but hopefully our race pace looks more promising.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow with a free choice of tyres having qualified P11, but will move up one place due to penalties. Not a bad day but getting through to Q3 would have been better.”
Norris was at least happier than team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr., who ended down in thirteenth at the end of the session, with an oversteer moment at turn five compromising his final run. The Spaniard, who has scored points in each of his four previous home Grand Prix, will also profit from Ricciardo’s penalty to start twelfth, and Sainz is aiming for another top ten result on Sunday.
“Today was a tricky session and we still need to analyse why,” said Sainz. “We were looking good in quali until Q2. A snap in Turn Five in my last attempt compromised my lap so I tried to recover in Sector Three, pushed too hard and did a mistake. That’s it.
“I’m confident with our race pace and the weekend is not over yet, so we’ll prepare thoroughly for tomorrow.”