Norris "risked quite a bit" for surprise Russian GP F1 pole

Lando Norris says he “risked quite a bit” in his final lap to take his maiden Formula 1 pole position in a “manic” qualifying session for the Russian Grand Prix.

Two weeks after its surprise 1-2 finish at Monza, McLaren scored its first pole since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix as Norris topped Q3 with a late run on slick tyres in Sochi.

Norris took pole by over half a second ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz after a switch from intermediate to slick tyres paid off on his final lap of the session.

"It feels amazing, I don't know what to say," Norris said in parc ferme after qualifying. "It was quite a manic session. We were going well, and obviously we made the decision in the end to go slicks.

"You don't think you're going to get a pole until you get it and now I've managed to do it so yeah, extremely happy. Big thanks to the team as well, they've done an amazing job."

Qualifying was able to go ahead after a break in the heavy rain that forced final practice to be abandoned, but the track remained damp until the closing stages of Q3, allowing drivers to make the switch to intermediates.

Norris admitted it was "tough" to keep the car under control in the greasy conditions, but focused on keeping his tyres in the right window for his final lap of the session.

"I'm obviously going to make myself sound good, but it was tricky," Norris said. "It was that crossover section and the lap before I was like, two seconds down, and I wasn't very confident we were going to improve on the previous lap.

"But I kept the tyres warm and prepared the final lap, and I risked quite a bit, I'm going to admit, and it paid off, so I'm a happy boy."

McLaren had been downplaying the chances of it continuing its Monza form in Sochi this weekend, with Norris even noting after taking pole that it was a surprising result to him and the team.

"I guess coming off of Monza this is not something we really expected, but these kinds of conditions are when we can take opportunities," Norris said. "That's exactly what we did today, so especially after Monza, this is an awesome way to start, and hopefully we can continue it again tomorrow."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Russell "almost crashing" in Sochi F1 pits after switch to slicks
Previous article

Russell "almost crashing" in Sochi F1 pits after switch to slicks

Next article

Hamilton feels "terrible" over two F1 crashes in Sochi qualifying

Hamilton feels "terrible" over two F1 crashes in Sochi qualifying
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022