Norris surprised that ‘worst’ SQ3 lap delivered pole


McLaren’s Lando Norris was surprised that his final flyer in Saturday’s Sprint Shootout earned him pole as the lap felt like "one of the worst" he had ever done.

Norris was the second driver after his teammate Oscar Piastri to put his time on the board in SQ3. But none of his rivals were able to better his effort, with Max Verstappen ending up the closest, just 0.061s adrift.

When his pole time was confirmed to him over the radio by his race engineer on his cool-down lap, Norris was taken aback as he was under the impression that it had been a scrappy flyer.

"Honestly, it felt like one of the worst laps I've done," he explained.

"So I'm a little bit surprised, but it's a good surprise. I feel like we made up for yesterday. So yeah, good. My first pole in a long time, so I'm happy."

"I just messed up Turn 1," he explained. "I think that was the only real thing, the rest of it didn't feel amazing but not bad.

"Turn 1 and Turn 2 have been my nemesis corners all weekend. And I probably did my worst Turn 1 and Turn 2 today in Q3."

Norris’ pole was his first since his Russian Grand Prix pole position at Sochi in 2021. But while McLaren’s pace is strong this weekend at Interlagos, he reckoned that winning Saturday’s the 30-minute mad dash will be “tough”.

"The pace has been good all weekend and the car has been very strong, so we're on the right track," he said. "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 want to have any chance, I'll give it my all."

Norris noted that, as usual on F1’s sprint weekend’s, teams have very limited data regarding long runs, which adds an element of unpredictability to the Sprint event.

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter