Norris and Piastri optimistic that McLaren will be in the mix at Zandvoort after a strong Friday

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Friday’s FP2 proved to be a mixed bag for the McLaren drivers, with Lando Norris topping the timesheets ahead of both Red Bulls, while Oscar Piastri ended the session prematurely after crashing at Turn 3.

Photo credit: McLaren

Norris’s pace seems to indicate that McLaren’s impressive pre-summer break form is set to continue.

“A reasonable day. A nice way to end, in terms of position.

“We did quite a bit of aero running this morning which cost us a little bit and we couldn’t quite focus on what we wanted to do from a pure performance perspective, but we knew that was going to happen, so we understood it.

“I think we got in a good rhythm and found a reasonable balance with the car. We’re looking good on low fuel, but we’ve got a bit of work to do on high fuel, so that’s our target tonight.”

Commenting on his chances for a strong qualifying result, Norris said he expects several drivers to be in contention for high starting positions.

“I think it’s going to be very close come tomorrow.

“It’s a short track—what, 1’12 [lap times], 1’11?. It’ll probably be 1’10s or something tomorrow. So it’s going to be very tight, but between many people. You have the Williams there, Alpine are there, AlphaTauris are there—so it’s just going to be a scrap.

“It’s gonna be tough, but we can stay there. Just no mistakes.”

On the other side of the garage, Piastri’s mechanics had a busy afternoon after the Australian crashed into the barrier on the banking at Turn 3, bringing an early end to his session.

Reflecting on the incident, Piastri said, “A shame to end the day like that, I just went into Turn 3 a bit too quick and lost the rear. It’s a shame to have picked up the damage and give the team a long night but their hard work is appreciated.”

On a more optimistic note, he added that he expects McLaren to have another strong day tomorrow.

“Otherwise, I think the pace looked quite good today. I was feeling pretty good with the car, so we’ll try to bounce back tomorrow and have a positive day.”