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Norris explains qualifying tyre choice as he reflects on things to ‘review’ while Piastri sets out expectation for race pace

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on

Lando Norris admitted to feeling less confident in getting lap time out of his McLaren MCL38 during qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix than earlier in the weekend, with the Briton ultimately ending the session in P5.

Having suffered a retirement on the first lap of the Sprint, Norris’ car was fortunately able to return to action in qualifying a few hours later. The 24-year-old caused a surprise by taking a gamble on the medium tyre during his final run of Q2, before using this again for his first Q3 effort prior to a switch to the soft compound for his final flying lap.

READ MORE: Verstappen clinches pole position for Miami Grand Prix ahead of Leclerc and Sainz

Asked after the session about what the thinking was behind this decision, Norris explained: “I only had one set of new [soft tyres], so I was like, ‘I’ll try the medium’. The medium worked well, but obviously not well enough.”

Reflecting further on how his car had felt using the soft tyre for his final effort – and whether he had been able to exploit its pace as much as hoped – Norris said that this had not quite been the case.

P5 Norris admits he would have 'struggled to do a lot more' in Miami GP qualifying

“I was quite a bit more confident yesterday in terms of getting lap time out of the car,” he commented. “So yeah, I’m not sure. We made a couple of changes with the car, and [it’s] hard to know if they were in the right direction now.

“Of course when you go on track sometimes things change a little bit. I felt a bit more confident yesterday on extracting lap time. Today I kind of felt like I got there and struggled to do a lot more, so some stuff for us to review and think about for next time. But, on the whole, of course P5 is still not bad.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from qualifying in Miami as Verstappen claims pole

Team mate Oscar Piastri will join Norris on the third row in P6. The Australian had hinted at a competitive performance during his first run in the final segment of qualifying but, like much of the pack, did not manage to improve on this for his flying lap.

“I think the track just wasn’t really getting any better, so I think it was going to be difficult to really find a lot of time on the second run,” Piastri conceded afterwards. “The tyres are extremely fragile, so as soon as you push it a little bit too much it’s kind of game over, even over one lap.

Piastri 'pretty happy' with P6 in 'consistent' Miami qualifying

“But yeah, honestly pretty happy with the session. I feel like it was consistent the whole way through, I felt strong the whole way through and, yeah, pretty happy.”

While Norris is running a full package of upgrades this weekend, Piastri’s car has just some of these before he too will receive the rest next time out at Imola.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix

Despite not currently having all of the package, the 23-year-old is feeling positive about what he can achieve in Sunday’s Grand Prix.

"I think in the race we’ll be reasonable,” said Piastri. “I think Ferrari were probably a little bit quicker in qualifying than we maybe expected but, yeah, I think we’re in good shape. I say that but I know how much I’m missing from the car, so I’m pretty happy with the pace I had today.”

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