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Lando Norris

Norris encouraged despite return of unwanted issue

Lando Norris is set to start Saturday's Bahrain Grand Prix from seventh on the grid but feels he could have secured a higher position.

Norris Bahrain 2024
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Lando Norris has asserted that he was encouraged by McLaren's pace during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix after ending Q3 in seventh place despite being left to rue mistakes on his final lap.

The Briton was self-critical at several rounds towards the end of last year's campaign after a series of mistakes during qualifying, even feeling that pole positions slipped through his grasp due to errors.

The 24-year-old out-paced teammate Oscar Piastri on Friday in Bahrain but disclosed revealing why he felt he lost time to the front-runners, Norris told Sky Sports F1: “I just [made a] mistake at Turn 1 and Turn 4.

“So my second run was probably three-tenths off what he should have been. If all I did was improve one-tenth, it was four positions.

“Mixed feelings because the car got better and better through qualifying and especially when it cooled down and the wind calmed down, the car came alive.

“The thing felt great, it was lovely to drive. I just didn't do what I should have done.”

Norris praises McLaren's position

With McLaren locking out the fourth row of the grid, it marks a strong turnaround from 12 months ago when both cars failed to reach the top 10 at the season-opening round.

Despite seemingly being caught up in a close tussle between rival teams such as Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin, Norris has taken confidence from being in much better shape compared to a year ago.

“I hope it gets a little bit easier than what it was,” he explained:

“But it's a very good start for us as a team. I think that's the most important thing.

“If you look at one year ago, this weekend we were in a very bad place. We had to come out of a big hole.

“To know where we are now to know what things we can still improve on and have coming over the next few months, it gives me good confidence and it should give the team good confidence.

“So I think we're in a good place. It's a nice surprise to be as strong as we are. Plenty of things to improve and get us further up the field.”

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