Lando Norris was disappointed to qualify only seventh for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Saturday evening, with the Briton feeling he left plenty of time on the table during his best lap in Q3.
The McLaren F1 Team driver believed he could have qualified as high as fourth or fifth at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, but ultimately he did not put the lap together when it mattered, and it left him on row four of the grid rather than row two.
The other factor for Norris to reflect on is the fact he was the only driver inside the top ten that will start Sunday’s race on the soft Pirelli tyre, with everyone around him on the medium compound.
“I’m disappointed with the end of qualifying really,” said Norris. “Happy we’re still P7, because it could’ve been worse today.
“I got a bit unlucky throughout qualifying with yellow flags, but even so I could’ve been one or two positions higher as I didn’t do the best lap when I needed to, so I’m a bit frustrated. I have a small advantage at the start with the Soft tyre, so I need to make the most of that, but for the rest of the race it’s going to make it a lot trickier.
“I’m still in a decent position to score some points tomorrow, so we’ll see what we can do.”
“We were a lot quicker than P11 today” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was even more disappointed to miss out on the top ten after showing good pace earlier in the session, with a kerb causing damage to the underside of his MCL35M.
Ricciardo had been matching Norris throughout Qualifying having improved the car prior to the session, but it was evident to the Australian that some pace had disappeared as soon as he ran over the kerb.
“We had a quick car, but I just picked up some damage on the last run and lost a lot of time,” said Ricciardo. “I damaged the floor on a kerb and it was dragging on the straight.
“I saw the lap-time dropping away. It’s a shame, because we were a lot quicker than P11 today. I’ve used that kerb a lot already, but that time I picked up a bit of damage. We made a good set-up change for quali so I was comfortable and had pace, we just got unlucky.”