Lando Norris felt it was a better-than-expected start to the Qatar Grand Prix weekend, with the Briton ending the day with the fifth fastest time at the Losail International Circuit.
The McLaren F1 Team driver started the weekend by placing his MCL35M into tenth place in the morning, but he was on the pace in the afternoon, ending less than half a second down on pacesetter Valtteri Bottas.
And Norris says it was a good start in Qatar, particularly after he and the team anticipated more problems than what actually occurred, and it gives him some encouragement heading into the rest of the weekend.
“A good start to the weekend,” said Norris. “In a way, more positive than we were expecting, I think because of the type of track layout we have here.
“I think we were anticipating a few more problems and possibly difficulties than we had. I think there are still some weaknesses we’ve got to work on, but on the whole a solid start.
“I like the track, it’s good fun, especially being a night session as well – we haven’t had a night session in quite a while. It’s fast, it’s high-speed and it’s a good challenge.”
“We didn’t really progress in the second session” – Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo says he will be looking into Norris’ sessions and learning what he can from the Briton after he struggled for pace in comparison to his team-mate.
The Australian failed to break into the top ten in either session, ending eleventh in the morning and a lowly fourteenth in the afternoon, with Ricciardo feeling he did not make any progress in between sessions and only went backwards.
However, despite his poor showing on Friday, Ricciardo hopes to be up fighting inside the top ten in Saturday afternoon’s Qualifying session for the first ever Qatar Grand Prix.
“This track’s fun. The initial impressions are that it’s good with it being flowing and pretty fast,” said Ricciardo. “We didn’t really progress in the second session. We changed the car a bit to experiment with a few things, but it was probably two steps off, so we’ve still got a bit to find there.
“Lando was more promising and we can learn a bit from that car. I was a bit off in the first sector so got some work to do there – but I’m not concerned, just a few things to look into tonight. Competitiveness-wise, I think Ferrari will be there tomorrow and Alpha Tauri looked quick.
“Hopefully we can find a bit more for Saturday.”