Lando Norris felt it was a good first Sprint Qualifying race for both himself and the McLaren F1 Team as he was able to gain one position from his starting spot to claim fifth on the grid for the British Grand Prix.
Norris was able to get ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez on the opening lap, and although he fell behind Alpine F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso, he was able to bide his time and find a way ahead of the Spaniard heading into turn three on lap six.
After passing Alonso, it was a quiet run to the chequered flag for the Briton, and he will start fifth on the grid for Sunday’s full-length British Grand Prix where he hopes to continue his strong start to the 2021 Formula 1 season.
“A good first sprint quali race!” said Norris. “I think we achieved everything we could’ve hoped for today.
“We got ahead of one of the Red Bulls, which is a quicker car, but we managed to beat them off the start and over the first lap, so it was a fun first-half. At the end, it was a quiet finish in clear air on my own.
“I think we now have a good reading on where we stand compared to the other teams, so we know what we need to try to do tomorrow. I hope the fans enjoyed the new format and it brought something different to the weekend.
“Let’s hope for the same again tomorrow.”
“Alonso having a good start made our race a bit more exciting” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo echoed Norris’ thoughts about the Sprint Qualifying race, with the Australian enjoying the scrap with Alonso that ended with him getting passed the Spaniard at Village and into sixth place.
Ricciardo believes Alonso making such a good start and using the soft Pirelli tyres made the race more interesting that he thought it was going to be, and to get passed the veteran Spaniard was a great feeling.
He is now targeting another strong performance during Sunday’s British Grand Prix where he will line-up alongside Norris on the third row of the grid.
“That was quite good fun!” said Ricciardo. “It’s obviously over pretty quickly, but Alonso having a good start made our race a bit more exciting, so I enjoyed it! The first ten laps were busy, I thought that was cool, so I hope the fans liked it.
“I don’t know what it was like around us, but I hope the order changed up a little bit. I gained a position and start in a better place tomorrow than I started today. That was the aim for today, so I’m looking forward to going out and fighting for more tomorrow.”