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“Dirty Work” – Could Norris have won first place?

“Dirty Work” – Could Norris have won first place?


Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 5:42 pm


According to the Briton’s estimates, he lost four tenths of the race due to a slide in Q3 – finishing at a disadvantage compared to Verstappen. The McLaren F1 car flogged itself after the time trial.

In Q2, Lando Norris finished second, and in Q3 he also looked to be the main candidate for a starting position on the front row, but fell behind in the final sector – as a result, he was overtaken by Leclerc, Piastri and Russell, and he only qualified on the fifth grid in Abu Dhabi.

“Four tenths, something like that,” he answered the journalist’s question in the mixed zone about how much time had passed with the error. “I failed first grade one hundred percent. But it didn’t work out, so it doesn’t matter.”

The gap between Max Verstappen and pole was 0.371 seconds – calculated at around four-tenths, with Norris taking pole ahead of the Dutchman. After seeing the calculations, the Briton expressed a degree of caution.

“I don’t think I was first, but you never know. It’s frustrating to make a mistake in qualifying when you’re fighting for a good position. Recently I’ve been making a lot of mistakes on Saturdays. All my other nails were among the best, especially the first and second quarter, and it was “The first third quarter was also very strong, and then this little mistake came. I don’t know why, because I haven’t made a mistake like that all weekend. It’s frustrating because I did a great job this Saturday.”

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After the above-mentioned mistakes on Saturday, it was possible to regularly hear self-critical statements from Norris, as is the case today, for example, after the time trials in Qatar or São Paulo. When asked if he was perhaps too strict with himself, he replied:

“I fought for second place and got fifth because of a silly mistake. It’s just my fault.”

What does McLaren expect on Sunday?

“I have no idea,” Norris answered frankly. “There were two red flags in FP2, and I haven’t done two normal laps in a row this weekend, not a lap with more than 50 kilograms of fuel. Today was a terrible day, so I don’t know. The car was very good all weekend in the laps “The few I did. So we’ll see.”

He was also asked about Norris’s opinion on the ‘no overtaking’ rule in the pits, which came into force on Saturday – and the Briton had no comment on this either: “That’s a terrible rule. For example, if there’s a red flag and there’s three minutes to go, three cars will approach.” “From the department. Rather, it must be restored to what it was.”

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