Lando Norris, McLaren, Suzuka, 2019

Norris “really annoyed” with qualifying mistakes

2019 F1 season

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Lando Norris admitted he is frustrated by the mistakes he has made in qualifying sessions this year.

The McLaren driver, who is in his first season of Formula 1, is leading his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr by nine to seven in qualifying. But Norris says he has made too many errors on Saturdays.

“I just keep making these mistakes in qualifying which I get really annoyed with because qualifying’s so important,” said Norris in Japan. “I know I’m good in qualifying and I know I can do it it’s just I don’t do it when I need to do it.”

Norris was out-qualified by Sainz at Suzuka after making a mistake at the end his final run in Q3.

“It was actually one of my best laps I would say,” Norris explained. “All the way until the last chicane.

“I would make some small mistakes here and there, small under-rotation or miss the apex by a little bit. I never like nailed a lap. [But in] Q3 we made a few small tweaks and I was on for one of my best laps, I would say, of the season, until the last chicane.

“I hit the kerb slightly wrong, the second part of it, and then I just bounced a little bit too much as I came off under acceleration. And then it obviously goes into a right hander as you go over the start/finish line. Because the car was still a bit nervous, still a bit bouncing, then I didn’t have the traction out of the corner and I lost a lot of time all the way out.

“So I’m pretty annoyed because I had a good run until then.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “Norris “really annoyed” with qualifying mistakes”

  1. Well, he’s a rookie after all, and he’s got plenty of time and chances to get rid of those errors repeatedly hampering his qualifying-chances.

  2. :D some drivers struggle with that even after 10 years.

    Young man is quick. Imperfections like that can be ironed out.

  3. I really appreciate how naturally self-critical the newer crop of drivers are. They don’t seem to be “humble” for the sake of media relations or relying on the classic, but bland “there is always room to improve” trope. Lando, Albon, and to some extent Leclerc seem to be fairly open about where and when they can improve.

    Their perspective, and the fact they seem to all enjoy racing each other, makes me hopeful for the next generation of drivers.

    (If only I felt the same about the next generation of car regulations…)

  4. Better be disappointed. Getting beat by sainz jr. Just as in gp2 strong start and then disappointing.

    1. While it is true that qualy is not Sainz strong suit, he is a solid, consistent driver. I am always perplexed how many underrate him. And he is still improving, so I wouldn’t expect Norris to outright beat him in qualifying.

  5. To me, Norris has proved himself as a solid qualifier. He’s obviously quick and got a sharp mind but his racecraft just needs a bit of work. Definitely a bright prospect for McLaren in the future. I can see McLaren holding onto these 2 for 2021 and beyond. Forget Alonso, you don’t need him, Mc.

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