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Third place rather than first quarter elimination – Norris didn’t understand what he was doing there either…

Third place rather than first quarter elimination – Norris didn’t understand what he was doing there either…

But how did Lando Norris get third place in a McLaren? The Brit who gave the timekeeper’s big surprise didn’t quite understand either, but he tried to explain it anyway…

The first half of the Spanish Grand Prix grid turned out to be very colorful. Red Bull’s lead was as usual, but the order behind Max Verstappen was an interesting one, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finishing second, while former McLaren teammate Lando Norris moved up to third with a solid Q3 lead.

Woking’s residents have not reached such heights this year and, as their rivals have admitted, now. That they found themselves there, they do not fully understand how they got there either. They were 0.520 seconds behind Verstappen, but only 58 hundredths behind Sainz.

“We felt the first free practice was probably our worst free practice this year based on our pace. So it’s a bit of a surprise to be here now.”

Norris said. “However, the cold weather has been in our favor a bit. It feels weird because I definitely didn’t think I’d be in the top three today!”

Lando Norris (Photo: Charniaux/XPB Images)

They asked what they had changed so much to improve since Friday. “Just in the little things. Nowadays, you can get the car in good range pretty quickly, and you’re just playing with the little things. That is why I say that certain circumstances were in our hands.” He thought.

He added that the MCL60 still had its issues, but this time it wasn’t a huge flaw. “I’m still struggling a little bit with the car, but I’m still confident that I can get the most out of the car every round. Especially in the time trial. And there’s another step forward in terms of self-confidence.”

According to Norris, the fast cornering at the Circuit de Barcelona and the cold weather on Saturday served as a crutch for McLaren. “It looked like we were going to be just fine, but we just didn’t think it was that good.”

“On Friday, we still think it’s going to be hard not to be left out in the first quarter. Sometimes we overachieve a little bit, but next to Bahrain, we had the worst Friday this year, so I didn’t really get my hopes up.”

“But things came together while others might have been struggling a bit. We didn’t really change the car, so there was nothing to give us extra confidence that I would have said we were going to be good today.”

Lando Norris (Photo: XPB)

“We’re still very weak in many areas, but the high pace has always been our strength, for years now. It contrasts with the slow pace. So that alignment helped us, and we got a little more out of it. Already in the second free practice I took second and ninth with the floor gas. To Red Bull side, I was probably one of the few.”

“The track emphasizes our strength a little more, while in Monaco – even if it wasn’t that bad – we struggled in the slow corners. We want to improve a lot in this area.” Explanation of shape changes.

For Sunday, Norris starts from the “podium” position. They asked how confident he was in the race. “Not much. You never know. Our pace is probably enormous, I can catch up with Max, beat him… I hope he doesn’t lift me like he did at Monaco…” – He hinted a week ago that he had closed his back on the defending champion, who was careful in the rain, as if he had overtaken him, and was waiting for the blue flag to be shown to him…

“A new day is coming. We didn’t even expect to be so good today. I start from the clean side and do my best. The goal is to score good points for Oscar and me.” Norris set the goal, which would start his teammate Oscar Piastri from ninth place, after a penalty kick taken by Pierre Gasly.

Cover Photo:
Lando Norris, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz (Photo: Charniaux/XPB Images)

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