Coming off the back off a podium at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Lando Norris was slightly annoyed with his performance in the final run of Qualifying-3 whilst his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was unable to make it out of Qualifying-1 finishing Saturday of the Portuguese Grand Prix in sixteenth.
Norris was content with his performance in qualifying, although he feels that he didn’t maximise all that he could out of the package available to him. Norris had to abort the lap early on his first run in Qualifying-3 because of traffic so this leaves Norris with thoughts of what could’ve been.
“Reasonably happy with today,” said Norris. “A little bit annoyed because we could’ve been a few positions further up – maybe three – and fourth on the grid, I would say. I can be confident in saying that.
“I got caught on my Q3 run two lap on the new tyre because of another car backing up in front of me out of the last corner, so I had to abort the lap quite early on, which was frustrating.”
Apart from these minor issues Norris and the McLaren F1 Team can be pleased with their performance, the car was very fast if not a bit tricky to drive which was one of the reasons for ending up in seventh. There are lots of positives that the team can take into the Grand Prix and see whether or not the Briton can make up as many positions as possible during the race.
“Apart from that, I’m pleased with my performance today. The car was good. Tricky to drive, but fast, and I was still P7, surprisingly, so I’m happy. There are definitely some positives and we’ll see what we can do in the race tomorrow.”
“I’m not really sure where it went wrong yet” – Daniel Ricciardo
Qualifying for the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix was potentially one of the most disappointing of Ricciardo’s career, not making it out of Qualifying-1 and thus having a huge number of places to make up on Race Day if the Australian is to finish in the points scoring positions.
Ricciardo feels that qualifying was a very hard day, Friday had been very positive so the Australian wasn’t expecting for Qualifying to go like this so there will be lots of work to do between Qualifying and the race to find, identify and combat any issues.
The medium tyre felt good for Ricciardo but as soon as they switched to the soft the first lap was interrupted by traffic and the second was full of mistakes from the driver, unfortunately there wasn’t enough left in the tyres which fell away so a second lap wasn’t possible.
“A frustrating day,” he said. “We’d had a positive day yesterday, so I wouldn’t have bet on this today. I’m not really sure where it went wrong yet, we’ll have to look at it this evening. Q1 goes very quickly and we just didn’t get any clean laps in.
“The Medium tyre felt pretty good, and I was pretty happy. Then the first lap on the Soft was a bit interrupted by traffic at the start of the lap, and the end of the lap was just a little bit messy. We tried to go again but the tyre fell away really quickly and we just didn’t have the pace.”
Starting sixteenth is not exactly ideal for Ricciardo so he’ll be hoping to regain some places during the race and maybe even finish in the points scoring positions on a track that does allow for plenty of overtaking.
“P16 is far from where I want to be, so I’ve just got to figure it out, get some sleep and wake up tomorrow ready to do better.”