Lando Norris qualified fourth for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, behind Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen; Watch Austrian GP Sprint qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 at 11am on Saturday, followed by the Sprint at 3:30pm
Last Updated: 30/06/23 7:21pm
Lando Norris says a mistake at the final corner cost him third place in Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Norris will start fourth for Sunday’s race but was just 0.077s behind third-placed Carlos Sainz as McLaren’s upgrades appeared to pay off.
Only Norris has the new parts as McLaren pushed hard to bring the developments to Austria. Oscar Piastri will have the upgraded car next week at Silverstone.
“I’m super happy, the guys have done a good job to get all the bits here this weekend and it’s paid off straightaway,” Norris told Sky Sports F1.
“A very good day from from start to finish. We had a few issues this morning, which meant we were even more limited on running. To get, let’s call it a new car, working as it should, the guys did a very good job. So P4, as a driver I’m complaining because I could have been P3 but I made a little mistake.”
Asked about his mistake, Norris added: “It’s difficult to commit at the last corner. It’s very tricky because you are kind of on the entry kerb, which makes the car very nervous and I just missed the apex by a little bit. As it compresses, if you miss it, you understeer badly.
“I just crapped myself, I thought I did track limits and I just had to back out of it. So it definitely cost me P3, which I’m a bit annoyed by because I would have loved to beat Carlos, but happy with P4.”
Norris explains why he is strong at Red Bull Ring
Norris took his maiden F1 podium at the Austrian Grand Prix in 2020 and also finished third a year later. It’s arguably his best track on the calendar and he feels the high-speed nature of the circuit is the reason behind his success.
“It just suits my driving style pretty well. My strongest point is high-speed corners. Against every driver I’ve been team-mates with, it has been my strongest suit – against Carlos and Daniel [Ricciardo],” he explained.
“There’s a decent amount of them here where you have to commit and find the limit yourself. Then you have these big braking zones. When I started F1 it was not my strongest point but I’ve turned it into something that’s quite strong.
“You have got three big braking zones and four high-speed corners here, so it’s a track that suits me well and I’m comfortable to push. It’s my most successful track, I love it.”
McLaren have not scored points in the last two events after a disappointing start to their season.
Norris admits the new car is “definitely a step forward” and gives him “more confidence in certain places”.
“I wouldn’t say it’s changed everything, it’s not like the characteristic is loads better. But at the same time, we didn’t expect it to be a lot better. We just expected a global improvement, which we’ve done,” said the British driver.
“Today we’ve managed to prove it, even on the short circuit, so it makes us look a bit better. Even if you doubled it and say, we’re half a second off, I think we’d still be happy with it.
“This track has also been, I’m always a negative guy, so this track has been good one for us. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself and say it’s amazing, I’d like to wait until Silverstone for that one. The team has done a good job to get everything here and to make such a big step, so it’s down to me on Sunday to turn it into some points.”
Leclerc suggests pole was possible
Charles Leclerc was only 0.048s from taking pole away from Max Verstappen as he gave it everything in the final two corners, visibly on the limit.
It wasn’t enough to repeat his Baku efforts, where he took pole in the first sprint weekend of the season, and the Ferrari driver is keen for more performance in race trim.
“There’s always something more. I think Turn Three was not ideal, Turn One I had quite a bit of snaps,” said Leclerc.
“We tried to add a bit more front wing for the last run in Q3 and it probably was a tiny bit too much. But it’s part of the game – very close to pole position, which is a good sign.
“But we all know that our weakness is the race. So we are waiting for the race to try and see if we confirm the positive signs that we have seen in Montreal.
“The team has done a great job by putting so much effort into bringing the upgrades earlier than what was planned. That helped us also to have a good feeling with the car today.”
Sky Sports F1’s live Austrian GP schedule
Saturday July 1
8.55am: F3 Sprint
10.30am: Austrian GP Sprint Shootout build-up
11am: Austrian GP Sprint Shootout
12.40pm: F2 Sprint
2.30pm: Austrian GP Sprint build-up
3.30pm: Austrian GP Sprint
5pm: Ted’s Sprint Notebook
Sunday July 2
7.20am: F3 Feature Race
8.50am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Austrian GP build-up
2pm: The AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: Austrian GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
#Austrian #Grand #Prix #Lando #Norris #rues #mistake #Charles #Leclerc #suggests #Max #Verstappen #beatable