'The car definitely felt good' – Norris praises his McLaren team after P3 in Barcelona qualifying
Lando Norris praised the work of his McLaren team after qualifying in a season-high third place in Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, before explaining just how “tricky” conditions were for the drivers, with many spinning off-track into the gravel.
Norris put in a storming final lap in Q3, to set a time of a 1m 12.792s to go third, finishing 0.520s off the pace of pole-sitter Max Verstappen. Speaking afterwards, the Briton said the cooler conditions had played in his team's favour.
“The car definitely felt good,” said Norris. “Made some small little tweaks, but it seemed to definitely help the car move in the right direction. The colder conditions, people just seemed to struggle a lot.
“You see a lot of people locking up and going off, making mistakes, I never necessarily felt like that. It was also close, like, I make one-tenth mistake and I’m five positions back, and I don’t look like as much of a hero as I do now.
“There's many different things that come into it. In the end the team did a good job with the car, I felt confident with it, and I put in some nice laps, and when you put it together you get P3.”
When asked how difficult the conditions were for the drivers in qualifying, Norris responded: “I mean, I’m surprised. I won’t say it was that tricky. The track was quick, 12.3 by Max, 12.7 by me, it was the quickest we’d been all weekend by over a second and a bit.
“I don’t know what everyone was struggling with. I guess it was difficult in Q1, with the wet patch between Turn 10, 11, where you saw most of the people spin, and the rest of it not sure.”
Norris’ last podium finish was back in Imola in 2022, when he finished third, and when quizzed on whether he was setting his sights on a place back on the rostrum, Norris quipped: “Absolutely not. Eyes are in my mirrors.”