Lando Norris, McLaren, Interlagos, 2023

‘I’m so s*** in qualifying’: Norris berates himself despite pole-winning lap

Formula 1

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Lando Norris was not happy with the lap which put him on pole position for the sprint race in Brazil.

The McLaren driver was furious with himself after making a mistake at the exit of turn two which cost him time as he struggled for grip on the kerb. After taking the chequered flag he said on his radio: “Why am I so shit in qualifying?”

But by the time he reached the pit lane entrance no one had beaten his lap of 1’10.622. Told he’d taken pole position for today’s sprint race Norris replied: “Wow. Well done, I guess. Feels so bad! But so good.”

Norris’s only previous pole position in F1 came at the Russian Grand Prix in 2021. He was frustrated with his result in qualifying yesterday, where he took seventh on the grid.

Speaking after qualifying he said his run to pole position “felt like one of the worst laps I’ve done.”

“So I’m a little bit surprised but it’s a good surprise,” he continued. “I feel like we made up for yesterday, so good. My first pole in a long time, so I’m happy.”

He admitted he has “no idea” whether he will be quick enough to beat second-placed Max Verstappen to victory in today’s sprint race.

“The pace has been good all weekend, the car has been very strong, so we’re on the right track. But it’s a tough one.

“The Red Bulls are always quick, Max is always quick. So it’s not going to be an easy race. But the pace is strong so if we’re going to have any chance, I’ll give it my all.”

Verstappen was also dissatisfied with his last lap in qualifying after falling short of Norris’ time by six hundredths of a second.

“It was all very tight all qualifying,” said the Red Bull driver. “I think just my last lap sector one and the start of sector two, just not really on it.

“A little mistake in turn two, lost the rear, and then turn four just too slow. It’s always a bit tough when you have that one tyre, to risk it all.”

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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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3 comments on “‘I’m so s*** in qualifying’: Norris berates himself despite pole-winning lap”

  1. Nice open person, especially with Naomi :)

    1. Yeah, it really is a breath of fresh air how honest and open he is most of the time.

  2. Please give this man mental health support.

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