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Norris Defies Odds McLaren Secures Third Spot

Norris Defies Odds, McLaren Secures Third Spot

23/03/2024

McLaren F1 emerges as a strong contender in the Australian GP qualifying, with Lando Norris outperforming expectations.

McLaren F1 reasserted itself as the third strongest team on the grid during the Australian Grand Prix qualifying session. Lando Norris secured the fourth-fastest time in qualifying, a result he hadn’t anticipated.

“It’s better than I expected; I didn’t foresee outpacing a Ferrari, especially Charles, which comes as a surprise. I don’t feel like I’ve had a strong weekend; I’ve struggled to push with the car, which was doing the opposite of what I wanted,” Norris stated.

“I still face challenges, as I have this season, but when I feel more comfortable, I sense that I can unlock more of what I want and gain better control of the car. When that happens, I improve my time, so it was a good day, and I’m looking forward to the race.”

Asked about the optimism at McLaren, given the progress since the start of the season and overall in recent months, Norris responded playfully, “That’s why I’ve signed with McLaren for so many years!”

“I’m happy with our situation, what we’re doing, and how we’re trying to improve. I know there are areas I struggle to unlock my full potential, but when I manage to do so, even slightly, I’m all smiles and can do what I want.”

Piastri feels “slightly frustrated” by his Q3

Oscar Piastri will start a row behind his teammate, in sixth position. He admits to being somewhat disappointed after performing more solidly in the first two parts of the qualifying session.

“I have mixed feelings; Q1 and Q2 were very solid, but I couldn’t piece everything together in Q3. I made a few mistakes, but I don’t think we’re far off our true position; I’m just a bit frustrated by my performance,” said the Australian.

“We’ll see what we can do tomorrow; our race pace seemed good yesterday, and we’ll try to capitalize on that. We’ll attempt to compete with the cars ahead of us; it will be challenging, but we’ll give it a try.”

However, Piastri remains cautious about his expectations for the race, aware that his competitors have a significant performance advantage.

“It will be tough to challenge them. Ferrari has been strong all weekend, and Red Bull had some troubles yesterday, but no one is surprised to see Max on pole. Challenging them will be difficult; that’s where we stand. If we finish where we start, it’ll be a good result for us.”

Norris Defies Odds, McLaren Secures Third Spot. Norris Defies Odds, McLaren Secures Third Spot

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FP112:30
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QU3:00
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