(L to R): Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Lando Norris, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2023

Norris ‘surprised’ but ‘frustrated to miss out on an even better position’

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lando Norris admitted he was disappointed not to have qualified even higher after claiming third on the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver said their performance at the Hungaroring was somewhat of a surprise despite their strong showings at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring. He hadn’t expected the recently updated MCL60 to be as strong at a slower circuit like the Hungaroring.

“The thing is everyone says Budapest is a slow-speed circuit, but really it’s still a lot closer to medium speed. You never even use second gear around the whole circuit.

“The slower speeds I’d say is where we struggle, is still where we’re the worst: In the chicane, in turn one and turn twelve, it’s still where we lose a lot of our time.

“But it’s definitely close. To be only what, eight-hundredths off pole position, I think we’re pretty happy with that. So a little bit surprised but at the same time, I think it’s a good surprise.”

Under new rules being trialled this weekend, drivers had to use different tyre compounds at each stage of qualifying. Norris said his car’s performance was slightly better on the softer rubber, and believes he could have found the time needed to overturn his 0.085 second deficit to pole-winner Lewis Hamilton.

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“I think the one we struggled with the most was probably the hard tyre in the beginning,” he said. “But the medium and the soft I was pretty happy with.

George Russell, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
“It’s just nine hundredths, it wasn’t like it was a bad session. It’s just probably when you’re under a tenth off pole, or eight-hundredths off pole, you feel like that was within your driving.

“If you just did something slightly differently, or just got on the throttle a little bit early, eight hundredths you feel like is in it. So I guess a little bit frustrating, especially, to be so close.”

However Norris said he was “happy” to take third place after a series of poor results earlier in the season.

“Like Lewis [Hamilton] said he said he’s been struggling, but if you look at where we’ve been in the last few years I think we’re even happier and we’ve gone through an even tougher time. We were fighting for 18th, 19th, 20th for the last year in certain times.

“So for us to be consistently now three races in a row competitive, to be so close to pole position is still a very good sign for us. So I’m happy, mixed I guess, I’m happy but also frustrated to miss out on what could have been an even better position.”

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2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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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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One comment on “Norris ‘surprised’ but ‘frustrated to miss out on an even better position’”

  1. Really nice to see mclaren do so well, I guess austria could be considered similar to silverstone, but hungary certainly isn’t, so they seem to have quite a variety of tracks they do well at now.

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