Norris frustrated after doing a “s**t job” on his final run in Q3 at the F1 Abu Dhabi GP

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Despite displaying promising pace throughout the weekend, McLaren’s Lando Norris found himself facing disappointment during the final qualifying session of the Formula 1 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Photo Credit: Mclaren Racing

Norris, who appeared to be Max Verstappen’s biggest threat for pole over the hour, saw his chances dashed on his final Q3 run as he had a big slide out of turn 13 after going purple and green through the first two sectors. Instead of starting alongside Verstappen for the season finale, Norris now begins the race from fifth on the grid, with Charles Leclerc securing second position. Norris estimated that the slide cost him four-tenths of a second.

Known for his self-critical approach, Norris has previously expressed similar scrutiny of his performance in Qatar, where he faced challenges with track limits, and in Brazil, where adverse weather conditions hindered his ability to challenge Verstappen.

Reflecting on the missed opportunity, Norris took full responsibility for the setback, saying: “If you just make any mistake in qualifying when you’re fighting for a good position, it’s frustrating.

“But the thing is, I just make so many mistakes on a Saturday at the minute. Every other lap was some of my best, really.”

While recognizing the strength of his performances in Q1 and Q2, Norris couldn’t shake off the frustration stemming from the critical error in the final moments of Q3.

He had been P2 after the first run thanks to a strong lap on used tyres, but he lost out to Leclerc, Piastri and Russell with the costly error on his last attempt.

“Q1 and Q2 were some of my best laps, and my first lap in Q3 was very strong. Just one little mistake.

“I don’t know why it happened. I’ve not done it all weekend. So yeah, frustrating because I’m just doing a s**t job on Saturday.”

When questioned about his rather brutal self-assessment, Norris explained it’s not too harsh.

“Not at all. I’m fighting for P2, and I end up P5 because of a stupid mistake. So, I’m too soft on myself.”

As the season concludes, Norris looks to channel this frustration into determination, aiming for a strong race performance to end the year on a positive note and grab another podium.