Norris says he needs to drive the McLaren at “95%” after missing Q3 again

2023 Australian Grand Prix

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Lando Norris is “a bit disappointed” with himself because he isn’t performing to the level he should be after another poor qualifying result for McLaren.

The 22-year-old will start 13th in tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix. He made it as far as Q3 but was unable to claim a place in the top 10 after making a few errors.

“I’m just pushing too hard,” he said. “I needed to put a pretty magical lap together to get into Q3, so I guess I was trying for that but just a bit too much over the limit.

“So it’s tough. I thought I’d do a little bit better than where we were today. I think a little bit better was possible. But I’m just not driving as well as I need to, or should, to be honest. So I’m a bit disappointed with myself.”

Norris is yet to reach a Q3 this season after qualifying 11th and 17th in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively. He said today’s result was due to “a mixture” of car performance and driver errors, and he needs to reassess how hard he can push his McLaren.

“The mistakes I was making was just all different corners,” Norris added. “Just as soon as I tried to push a little bit more in one corner, I’d make a mistake there. But the rest of the lap was good, and then it would change around the next lap. I’m just not putting everything together really.

“So I just kind of feel like I have to drive at 95% rather than 100, and as soon as I try to push it to what I think is the limit, it’s always over the limit. It’s just hard to get the understanding I need of exactly where the limit is.”

Norris is ensuring his worst start to a Formula 1 season with him and the team point-less after the opening two races, as he is yet to understand the MCL60. It was also a poor qualifying session for his rookie team mate Oscar Piastri, who was eliminated from Q1 in front of his home crowd.

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2023 Australian Grand Prix

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    Ed Hardy
    In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...

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    3 comments on “Norris says he needs to drive the McLaren at “95%” after missing Q3 again”

    1. Whatever you say, Lando Ricciardo.

      BTW, that’s a joke. People will start saying, after a season in a garbage car, that in retrospect Lando was never fast and that he only beat slow teammates which flattered his performance. I’m not a Lando fan, but that’s how fans (and many online pundits) on SM/boards operate these days.

      1. That’s obviously in reference to how many talked about DR

      2. It does seem like the McLaren is a bit of a primadonna to drive, and has only gotten worse (which if true would’ve made Ricciardo even worse).

        Horner’s recent comments about noticing the difference in Daniel’s driving style which has provided insight into how other cars work was interesting.

        My speculation is that McLaren have been/are engineering their car by the numbers only and (somewhat) ignoring drivability. Which I find interesting as to me, if you want your drivers to be fast, they need to be comfortable and have confidence and predictability so they can drive mostly by instinct and not overloading their brain with thinking through each and every corner—at least that makes sense to me 🤷🏼‍♂️

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