Norris laments ‘silly’ error in Sprint Qualifying as upgraded McLaren shows impressive pace in Miami


Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris will line up P6 and P9 respectively for the Miami Sprint on Saturday – a result that was a touch underwhelming for McLaren after their updated MCL60 showed eyebrow-raising pace at times on Friday at the Miami International Autodrome.

Piastri had wound up P2 in Friday’s one and only practice session, before the McLarens carried their impressive pace through to Sprint Qualifying – Norris actually setting the fastest lap of the whole session (a 1m 27.597s) on the medium tyre in SQ2.

READ MORE: ‘Somehow we were first!’ – Verstappen amazed to emerge with pole after ‘terrible’ Sprint Qualifying in Miami

But the mandated shift to the soft tyre in SQ3 proved tricky for all drivers, with Norris ending up down in P9 after what he called a “silly” error in Turn 1.

“I just pushed too hard, as simple as that,” said Norris with a rueful smile after Sprint Qualifying. “The car was feeling very good. Just silly, to be honest. A couple of mistakes in Turn 1 and just a big spiral from there. A shame because the team have done a good job, the upgrades are working, so I’m happy with everything. Just not with one thing!”

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 03: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on

Norris was running a full set of upgrades, with Piastri running half of them

Asked if the major upgrade to the McLaren – involving changes to the floor, front wing and sidepods, among other things – gave him confidence heading into the Sprint, Norris replied: “I hope so. The pace is very good, probably one of the quickest, so disappointed with today, but I’ll do my best.”

FACTS AND STATS: Norris's SQ2 time good enough for pole but Verstappen takes P1

Piastri found himself three spots higher than his team mate despite running only half of the McLaren upgrades – with the Australian reflecting after Sprint Qualifying: “I think it was just a really, really tricky session for everybody.

“I don’t know if the track changed a bit, or if we all just thought the soft [tyre] was going to be a lot better, but my lap felt pretty terrible and it was P6! So I think everyone must have just had a bad run. I think Lando did the quickest lap of the whole qualifying on the medium in SQ2. So a bit strange but I’ll take P6.”

Piastri looking forward to ‘exciting Sprint’ after ‘strange’ run to P6 in Sprint Qualifying

Asked if he was concerned about tyre degradation for Saturday’s Sprint – with track temperatures hitting 50 degrees on Friday – Piastri replied: “I don’t think so. It’s going to be tough for everybody I think, but the tyres seem to be surviving okay, they’re just very hot.

READ MORE: Verstappen claims pole in Miami Sprint Qualifying ahead of Leclerc and Perez

“So not too concerned but I think it could be an exciting Sprint – we’ve got a few cars out of position, I feel like nobody’s really had much consistency, so it could be exciting tomorrow.”

Saturday’s Sprint begins at 1200 local time – with qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix commencing at 1600.

Sprint Qualifying Highlights: 2024 Miami Grand Prix



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