Lando Norris on P2 in F1 Dutch GP qualifying: “I really enjoy these condtions”

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Photo Credit: McLaren Racing

The upward trend in McLaren’s performance looks set to continue this weekend as Lando Norris put his MCL60 on the front row behind the imperious Max Verstappen for tomorrows Dutch Grand Prix, his second appearance on the front row in 2023. The young Briton once again showed his talent for being able to perform strongly in wet and drying conditions as the track evolved to give drivers an opportunity to use the slick tyre toward the end of the session.

Charles Leclerc brought out the second red flag of Q3 after going off and into the barriers at turn nine and when qualifying resumed it came down to a final shootout with drivers getting the opportunity for one more flying lap. Norris managed to set a fastest first sector before losing time through the middle of the circuit and eventually finishing up just over half a second off of the pole time of Verstappen.

Reflecting on his final lap, the McLaren driver was disappointed in how he dropped off in the second half of the lap:

“Like the first half of the lap was mega, but the second half of the lap was pretty one of the worst second halves that I’ve done. So it peaked very early on, but it’s tough. But I really enjoy these conditions.”

Asked by David Coulthard trackside as to why his pace fell away, he replied: “The tyres were good until the end. The driver peaked very early,” and elaborated further in the press conference, saying he had a double shift out of turn ten, which by his reckoning cost him “a couple of tenths”. Despite feeling like he had a chance at pole when starting his final flying lap, Norris said “nothing could have got me past Max”.

Asked about his hopes for the race tomorrow and the potential to challenge Max he replied:

“I’ll challenge him for probably two laps and then he’ll drive away. I think there’s quite a bit of tyre degradation here, not our forte when it comes into play. We’ll start to struggle in certain corners but we have improved the car quite a bit since Friday.”

Norris praised the work the team had put in to improve the pace of the MCL60, saying it has made a “massive step forward” with the upgrades.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool