Lando Norris says it is exciting to be racing on a brand-new track to Formula 1 this weekend as the final race of the final triple-header of 2021 takes him to the Losail International Circuit for the Qatar Grand Prix.
The McLaren F1 Team driver has scored only two points across the past two weekends, with Scuderia Ferrari moving well clear of the Woking-based squad in the Constructors’ Championship as a result. Norris, himself, remains fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, but is now only three points ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Norris says it is important McLaren put behind them the disappointing results in both the Mexico City and São Paulo Grands Prix and to come back fighting this weekend in Qatar.
“After a tough race in Brazil last week, I’m hoping we can bounce back as we head to Qatar for the first time in Formula 1 this weekend,” said Norris. “We’ve got one last race of this demanding triple-header before Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, so we’ll be pushing hard to try and end it on a high.
“I’ve been able to drive the Losail International Circuit on the simulator to get a feeling of what to expect this weekend. It’s a pretty fast and fun track with a few big braking zones which should make for a physical race.
“Being able to compete at new places is always a challenge, which is exciting for us as drivers as we have to adapt to something new and get up to speed as quickly as possible. I’m looking forward to it!”
“Racing under the lights brings some extra excitement” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has failed to score points in either of the past two races, and the Australian is looking to turn his fortune around this weekend in Qatar.
Ricciardo was on course for a top ten finish last weekend in Brazil only to suffer a loss of power, caused by a crack to his chassis. However, he knows there were positives to take away from last weekend, and he will be looking to fight for points under the lights at the Losail International Circuit on Sunday evening.
“We were unfortunate in Brazil not to come away with points on my side,” said Ricciardo. “It was a shame, but there’s still plenty of positives to take from the weekend and use those to focus on maximising everything from the remaining races this season.
“We’ve got one more at a new venue for us in Qatar to round off this triple-header. I’m looking forward to it as it’s a new track and a different challenge for everyone. The aim is to get to grips with the circuit right from the off and find a good rhythm.
“Racing under the lights brings some extra excitement too. Three to go, we’ll keep fighting.”