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Formula 1

Norris stunned by maiden pole position: I wasn't very confident

Lando Norris expressed his delight after securing a surprise maiden pole position at the Russian Grand Prix.

Norris Imola Rain
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To news overview © McLaren

Lando Norris expressed delight, and surprise, after securing his maiden F1 pole position at the Russian Grand Prix, as he and McLaren took advantage of a wet/dry qualifying session at the Sochi Autodrom.

Norris rose to the front in the closing stages of Q3 as drivers switched from Intermediate tyres to slicks, finishing the session ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Williams' George Russell, who also impressed.

"Oh boy, it feels amazing. I don't know what to say," Norris reflected after qualifying.

"It was quite a manic session, but it was going well and obviously we made the decision in the end to go to slicks.

"I don't know, you never think you're going to get a pole until you get it, and now I've managed to do it so yeah, I'm extremely happy."

He added of the track conditions in Q3: "It was tricky, you know, because it was really that crossover section [to slicks], and the lap before I was like two seconds down, and I wasn't very confident that we were going to improve on the previous lap.

"I kept the tyres warm and prepared the final lap. I risked quite a bit, I'm going to admit, and it paid off, so I'm a happy boy!"

Norris' pole, which he hopes will be "the first of many", comes after McLaren secured a 1-2 finish at the Italian Grand Prix last time out.

"I guess coming off of Monza, it's not something we really expected, but these kind of conditions are when we can take opportunities, and that's exactly what we did today," Norris commented.

"Especially after Monza, this is an awesome way to start, and hopefully we can continue it again tomorrow."

Ricciardo qualified fifth in the other McLaren, but is under investigation for allegedly impeding Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll in Q1.

Also interesting:

Video: The secrets of the Sochi Autodrom circuit

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the Sochi Autodrom in Russia.

F1 2021 Russian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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