Norris never expected to outqualify Racing Point cars

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris admits he was surprised to outpace the Racing Point cars in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Norris never expected to outqualify Racing Point cars

Norris put on a superb performance to finish fourth behind the two Mercedes and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez was the best-placed driver from the Silverstone team in sixth place, and blamed the lack of a tow in Q3 for a slight loss of performance when it mattered.

Norris also qualified four places and over 0.3s ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz.

"We have our expectations of where we thought we want to be," said Norris. "And from the very beginning the Racing Points have been extremely quick, so we never really thought we'd be within the chance of beating them or getting close to them.

"But as we went to lower fuel and into qualifying the car started to come alive and feel much better. This track last year was very good for us.

"We had good confidence in the car and it suits it. Hopefully the race tomorrow goes well and we have two weekends of this."

Read Also:

Norris conceded that Racing Point will be strong on Sunday.

"They were definitely quicker than us on Friday. And like we said, we weren't expecting this at all.

"So I'd 100% take it for now, but as much as I'll be looking ahead in the race, and trying to go forward, I think there's a lot of cars behind us – the Ferraris especially, their race pace is very strong.

"For some reason their qualy pace is a long way off. But so is the Racing Point. They have a good car, they have a lot of downforce. I think they can look after their tyres slightly better than us, so it's gonna be a difficult job, but if I can stay around where I am, then I'll be happy."

Perez could not better his Q2 lap in Q3, and set the same qualifying time as fifth placed Alex Albon. However the Red Bull driver takes priority, as he logged it first.

"I matched my Q2 time, I didn't find anything more in Q3," said Perez. "I probably lacked a bit of a tow, which I didn't have in Q3, I was on my own. I was unlucky, I did the same time as Albon, unfortunately he did it first. Otherwise, I think a good performance.

"I think it was a clean lap, a good lap all around, as I say I think I was losing a bit too much lap time on the straights, not having the tow really hurt me compared to my Q2 time.

"But I think we are in a good place for tomorrow, I think our race pace should be competitive, and we should be aiming to move forward already from lap one."

Read Also:

Perez stressed that the consistency of the RP20 was a great strength.

"It really makes a difference," said the Mexican. "I think the car has been so consistent since we took it out of the truck. It's been working in all different scenarios. So I'm very confident, and especially for tomorrow I think our race pace should be strong. Obviously it's a bit of an unknown, but we're certainly in the mix."

Regarding the potential for a battle with Norris he said: "I think the McLarens, we expected them to be up here with us. I think tomorrow we should be able to entertain the fans."

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton opens up on "interesting" anti-racism driver talks

Previous article

Hamilton opens up on "interesting" anti-racism driver talks

Next article

Hamilton under investigation over yellow flag infraction

Hamilton under investigation over yellow flag infraction
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021