Lando Norris, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Norris “gutted” after missing first F1 pole by five-hundredths of a second

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lando Norris was “gutted” not to claim a maiden Formula 1 pole position despite taking a career-best result on qualifying on the front row for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver progressed to the final segment of qualifying on the C4 tyre, meaning he will start on that compound in the race, and was second to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the first runs in Q3.

He improved on his final run, after briefing his team of potential damage to his car after clouting a kerb while pushing, and qualified just 0.048 seconds off pole as Verstappen failed to go faster on his second run.

“I feel epic. That was cool,” said Norris. “I guess after last race, I wanted to do that one more step, and I did two more so it’s nice.”

This is the second week in a row that F1 has raced at the Red Bull Ring, and Norris matched his previous career-best qualifying result last time out in third place.

“It puts us in a good position for tomorrow,” he added. “Was probably one of my best laps I’ve done, I think. So it was a good feeling.”

While Norris impressed, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo ran on the quicker C5 compound in Q2 but couldn’t make it into the top 10, only qualifying 13th. His team principal Andreas Seidl says his flying lap in that session was compromised at turn four.

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2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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15 comments on “Norris “gutted” after missing first F1 pole by five-hundredths of a second”

  1. Spectacular result for Norris none the less.

  2. Good to see a happy Norris applauded by an orange army.
    He did great. Impressive to beat two factory Mercedes cars on merit. With better straight line speed a a very talented driver.
    He almost profited from the crappy lap max put in.

  3. You must have seen a different interview with Lando than I did because he was grinning ear to ear in the one I saw and was in no way gutted.

    1. @x1znet Exactly. That’s an unfair portrait

  4. Lando is the best thing to happen to F1 since Max’s arrival.

    New, young fans are the sport’s lifeblood and talented characters like the two of them should guarantee another generation of F1 fanatics.

  5. And he was ahead right up until T10 as well. I’ve always said Norris has been overlooked to an extent and that his affable, jokey antics off track have swayed people to thinking he isn’t as good as he is. I think this year he really is showing his hand and there’s been a palpable change in attitudes towards him.

    1. I wouldn’t say he is being overlooked anymore, Lando is getting a lot of attention and respect. Deservedly of course. He is hands down the F1.5 winner and looks like he could be a serious WDC contender on a Merc or RBR. On the other hand, he’s been under very little pressure so far.

  6. Ricciardo: Declining?

    1. Like with Gasly and Albon, if your teammate is on the front row then you don’t really have many excuses.

      1. It’s almost like he is the “Tubbs” in this duo.

        1. Sure is, brother!

    2. Ricciardo used to be overrrated. In part because he seems so likeable, but mostly because he trounced Seb fresh from his 4 WDCs. But Seb without a blown diffuser to ride on was a very average driver.

  7. Michael Ryan
    3rd July 2021, 16:44

    So great to see all those papaya T shirts in the crowd today supporting Lando. They must be very happy.

  8. Great result from Norris and McLaren if the top two make any mistakes and he’ll be there to take advantage.

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