Norris ‘excited’ to see what McLaren can do on race day in Canada after taking P3 in qualifying

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: Third placed qualifier Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren

Lando Norris is keen to put on a “good show” in the Canadian Grand Prix after claiming P3 on the grid during an incredibly close qualifying session, having narrowly missed out on pole position by just 0.021s.

There were mixed fortunes for McLaren on Friday in Montreal, with Norris going from P1 on the timesheets of first practice to last in the second practice hour as changing weather conditions took hold.

READ MORE: Russell clinches pole position in Canada with identical time to Verstappen in closely-fought qualifying

This left the Brit uncertain of his and the team’s place in the pecking order ahead of qualifying, but it proved to be a strong session for the Woking-based outfit.

While George Russell took pole position – and Max Verstappen slotted into second, having set an identical lap time to Russell’s – Norris was encouraged by the fine margins between the leading cars.

“I’m super happy,” the 24-year-old said of his result after qualifying. “I mean, first of all congrats to Mr Russell. He’s been quick all weekend, so congrats to him and Mercedes. I’m happy with third.

“When it’s so close, you always think, ‘Could I have like jumped in the car for that little bit more?’ Third is a good job by us, so I’m happy and excited for tomorrow.”

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on

Norris was just 0.021s off the pole position time in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix

The session was not an entirely smooth one, given the continued threat of rain throughout, but Norris acknowledges that the challenges are part of the appeal of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

“That’s Montreal, that’s why we love it here,” he explained. “It’s one of the best places to come to every year. I love it. It’s why we’re all smiling, we’re having a good time.

“It’s tricky… A lot of the time you’re thinking you’re going to crash half of it, but when you put a nice lap in and you end up in the top three, it’s always a nice feeling.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the qualifying action in Canada as Russell grabs pole and Ferrari suffer shock double Q2 exit

Asked about the possibility of overtaking the two cars ahead come race day, Norris joked: “Yeah, two overtakes tomorrow! Easy, light work! No, I’m excited to see what we can do.

“The car has been great all season, especially the last three or four races we’ve been on a good roll, but two very fast drivers ahead, plenty of fast drivers behind, so we’ll put on a good show tomorrow.”

It was also a solid session for Oscar Piastri, who was less than one tenth adrift from team mate Norris in P4. Asked if he had felt that pole could be on the cards given the marginal gaps, the Australian responded: “Yeah, [there were] definitely a few places where I know there was time unfortunately.

“I think in those kinds of conditions everybody probably has the same – you look at George, going three tenths slower from Q2 to Q3, clearly it wasn’t very easy to get the lap together. [I'm] pretty happy with the position.

Piastri on Sunday’s Grand Prix: ‘We’re definitely in the mix, but there are so many unknowns’

“Obviously being so close and knowing that there’s places out there where I could have found time [is] a bit frustrating, but I think in a session like that, and if we’re going to be fighting for championships, you need to be there when things don’t quite go your way.

“Ferrari are further back down the field, Red Bull have only got one car there, so [it] gives us a good opportunity for tomorrow.”

In terms of his prospects on Sunday, Piastri believes that there is still an element of the unknown heading into race day given the lack of learnings from Friday.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from qualifying for the Canadian GP as Russell takes pole

“[It’s] difficult to know what’s possible,” the 23-year-old commented. “I think it’s been such a jumbled-up weekend that the race could equally be just as random, I would say. I think Mercedes have looked very quick all weekend, Red Bull have looked good, and I would say we’ve looked pretty good.

“So I think we’re definitely in the mix, but there’s so many unknowns. No-one knows how the tyres [are] going to react in a race, because I think the longest run anyone’s done is like five laps, so when you’ve got to do 70, it throws a bit of a spanner in the works.

“But we’ll see, I think it should be an exciting race.”


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