Lando Norris admitted it was good to be back in the car during practice for the Turkish Grand Prix on Friday, and the Briton was pleased to be inside the top seven in both sessions.
Having lost out on his maiden Formula 1 victory in the Russian Grand Prix two weeks ago after being caught out by the weather having led for much of the afternoon, the McLaren F1 Team driver was delighted to be back driving on Friday.
He posted the seventh fastest time in the morning session at Intercity Istanbul Park before improving to sixth in the afternoon, and Norris felt the running on Friday was just what he and the team needed, and he has confidence of a strong weekend for McLaren in Turkey.
“It felt good to be back in the car and to get things going again,” said Norris. “It’s been a decent Friday, quite different conditions to what we had in Turkey last season. It feels like a different track altogether.
“I think we learned quite a bit today in preparation for tomorrow and the race. Friday was exactly what we needed, and we’ll try to do better again tomorrow.”
“I feel a lot better than where we are on the timesheets” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was unable to match the pace of Norris, with the Australian ending outside the top ten in both Friday practice sessions.
Ricciardo, who has scored the most points of anyone across the past two races thanks to his Italian Grand Prix victory and his fourth place in Russia, was twelfth fastest in the morning and fourteenth in the afternoon, although he does not believe the times reflect the potential of the MCL35M.
“Firstly, it was fun, in terms of the track and the level of grip,” said Ricciardo. “It was so different to last year and definitely more enjoyable. I’ll be very surprised if a driver says otherwise!
“It’s pretty high speed and sections of it are pretty relentless, which just makes it a good track to drive around.
“I think the time doesn’t really represent the feeling in the car today. I feel a lot better than where we are on the timesheets, so we’re not concerned about that. We’ve still a bit of work to do on setup, but nothing too crazy.
“We’ll push on tonight, do some productive work and come out swinging tomorrow.”