Formula 1

Lando Norris: “I’m disappointed with P10 because it could’ve been more”

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Credit: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images/McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris was left a bit disappointed after his qualifying performance for the Belgian Grand Prix and will start tenth on the grid on Sunday. He was unable to get the slipstream on anyone to put in a solid lap and got stuck behind the ‘erratically slow’ cars from the Renault DP World F1 Team after they had already set strong times.

The Brit will start the race in tenth and is happy with what he could do given some things were out of his hands.

“I’m disappointed with P10 because it could’ve been more,” Norris said. “My lap was good – I just didn’t have a slipstream from anyone so I was in no man’s land. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. 

“I was behind the Renaults on the out-lap and they were going extremely and erratically slowly. Therefore, I passed them but then I didn’t have any slipstream in the lap. I was a long way off in Sector One, by half a second – four-tenths or something like that. I had a good Sector Two and not a bad Sector Three but, again, without slipstream it’s difficult for overall lap-time.

“ So, I’m happy I did what I could, but the bit that was out of my hands lost me a few more positions today. But we’re still not in a bad position for tomorrow.”

Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. got the stronger result of the two McLaren F1 Team drivers and will start the race in seventh. 

He was happy with what he done in qualifying and got the maximum out of the car but knows the job isn’t done till his MCL35 crosses the finish line.

“A good qualifying for us today,” said Sainz. We got off to a solid start with a good first lap in Q1, which allowed me to stay in the garage for the second run and carry two new sets of Soft compound tyres into Q3. There, I put together another two good laps to extract the maximum of our car today.

P7 gives us a good chance to fight the Renaults tomorrow, who unfortunately were a bit out of reach for us today. We’ll also keep an eye on the weather radar because in Spa the conditions can change very quickly. Today was a good day, but the job isn’t done yet!”

Team Principal Andreas Seidl knows it is ‘very positive’ that both cars made it through to Q3 but a bit disappointed that Norris couldn’t get higher. 

“It’s very positive that we have both cars in Q3 again, and we have strong starting positions tomorrow considering the tightly-packed midfield,” said Seidl.

“We’re slightly disappointed today because we could’ve finished higher up the timesheet with Lando. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to get a good slipstream on his last run in Q3, so there was little more he could do to improve. However, Carlos and his team put in a very good effort, saving two Soft tyres for Q3 and putting two strong laps together to finish in P7. 

“The weather forecast for the race isn’t clear at this point, so I’m sure we’ll be in for an exciting and interesting grand prix.” 

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