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Norris shocked at claiming P3

NEWS STORY
04/06/2023

Lando Norris admits his shock at qualifying third on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix following FP1 he describes as worst of the year.

On Friday he had been extremely self-critical following a number of errors which left him 11th i FP1 and 14th in the second session.

Even on Saturday morning he could only manage tenth, leading to fears that he might fail to make it into Q3 for the fifth time this year.

"After FP1 we said it was probably one of our worst FP1s of the season in terms of pace," said the youngster. "So to be sat here today in P3, I think it's quite a big surprise for all of us.

"I think apart from maybe Bahrain this was our worst Friday of the season," he continued. "On Friday we all sat down and were thinking it was going to be tough to get out of Q1.

"I think with the cooler conditions today, things just started to come our way a little bit."

Interestingly, in the confusion of the conditions in FP3, Norris was the first driver to make the switch to slicks.

"I tend to always be one of the first to try these things for my own feeling and confidence. I tend to do it quite a bit, "he said.

"It felt decent, but I wouldn't say we felt anywhere near this good," he continued. "I really wasn't that hopeful, but things just seemed to come together. I felt like other people struggled a bit more today than maybe us over-performing or being our true potential.

"We've not really changed the car that much, so there was nothing which was giving me a lot of confidence or any reasons we were going to be that good today.

"We're still pretty poor in many areas," he admitted, "but high speed tracks have always been one of our strengths for years, and slow speed quite the opposite. So I think this layout has helped us, certainly benefitted us a bit more."

Second quickest in Q2, Norris was only 0.058s off Carlos Sainz' pace in Q3.

"I definitely wasn't thinking at all to be in the top three, but I'm very happy to be here... I'm shocked to be here!" he laughed

"It's the same car that we've been struggling with," he continued. "We've not really brought too many big things, just some very small things that obviously help a little bit.

"We've not really brought anything to the car this weekend, the last upgrade we had was Baku with the floor and even that didn't give us a lot of performance, just a different direction to go in."

Looking ahead, he said: "Red Bull always take a step forward come Sunday, Aston are always incredible on Sunday race pace. Hopefully it's just another surprise like today... we'll see."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Barcelona here.

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1. Posted by Wokingchap, 04/06/2023 12:43

"Brilliant Lando, it's those small things that can make a big difference, go for it."

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