Norris believes race pace “was good enough” to win the F1 Qatar GP

Spread the love

The 2023 F1 Qatar Grand Prix was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for McLaren’s Lando Norris. Despite starting from the tenth position on the grid, Norris showcased his talent and unwavering resolve to secure a fantastic third place finish in a race that will be remembered for its twists and turns.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
Photo Credit: Mclaren Racing

The race kicked off with high drama as Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collided at Turn 1; this early incident opened up an opportunity for Norris to maximise his results, running in sixth after the restart. Throughout the race, he had to battle his way through the field and manage the mandated tyre rules, ending the race third behind his teammate Oscar Piastri.

He reflected on his race pace, saying: “A great race, good start, yesterday I went wide at Turn 1, today I went tight, and it worked perfectly. A great start led to a good race.

“The pace was excellent, good enough to keep up with Max, just lost a lot in traffic; as soon as you get within a couple seconds, your life gets a lot more difficult.”

Norris’s journey to the podium was physically gruelling, a common result for all drivers. He reflected on it, saying: “The toughest race I’ve done physically, but good fun; it’s always is when you’re fighting for these positions; I kept pushing it till the end; it was a rewarding race.”

The British driver acknowledged the missed opportunities he had this weekend: losing his Q3 time twice at the end of Friday.

He lamented the loss of a potential first Grand Prix win as he believes he could have beaten Verstappen if he had qualified P2, saying: “Starting from P10 to get to P3 is probably a bit better than I expected today with how things were with the tyres and the limited things you could do.

“But the pace was good enough to win today, a bit more of a knife further in after the last few days, just showing that we had the pace probably to be on top if I didn’t do the mistakes I made earlier in the weekend.

“But I guess that’s why I was just disappointed with myself because I knew what we were capable of maybe coming into today. If I didn’t start 10th, I definitely would’ve finished higher than third. It’s a tough one to swallow, but it’s the way it is.

“It’s been one of my best weekends in overall pace; I just made 2 mistakes which have cost me so much, a potential win twice.”