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Lando Norris

Norris: Verstappen pressure forced 'perfect lap' to snare Spanish pole

The McLaren driver will start on pole for the second time in his career, after defeating Max Verstappen in Barcelona.

Norris Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris believes he produced the "perfect lap" to snatch Spanish Grand Prix pole position away from Max Verstappen at the death. 

Verstappen was sitting atop the times after finding nearly two-tenths on his second Q3 run to leave the benchmark at 1:11.403, with Norris the next driver to set a time. 

The McLaren driver went purple in sector two and pipped Verstappen by just 0.020s to earn a second F1 pole and first since the 2021 Russian Grand Prix. 

Norris is the fourth different pole-sitter in the last four races and felt he delivered the maximum to earn P1.

"It was pretty much a perfect lap," Norris explained after earning the first McLaren pole at the Spanish GP since Kimi Raikkonen in 2005.

"You know when you are on a good lap and you are getting excited, but the whole thing went perfectly in the end, but it was still so close. 

"It is one of my best pole positions, I've not had that many [in F1], but out of the ones I've had, definitely it is the best.

"Today was the perfect lap - and Max and Red Bull seemed a little bit stronger all weekend, but we made some changes for the final run.

"We've been super close all weekend, but it was just all about the perfect lap, and that is what I did today."

Norris earned a maiden F1 win in Miami in May, which coincided with another big McLaren upgrade, with Norris the only driver to score a point in every grand prix this season. 

He felt that the MCL38 has had the speed to deliver poles since Miami, but that the team has just not put together the 'perfect lap.'

"It is not just this weekend, we've been quick in the last two months since Miami, and we've been very strong and we've probably missed out by just not doing a perfect lap," he added.

"I had some little places to improve and I did exactly that.

"The win is the target, but I know it is going to be tough against Max, against Lewis [Hamilton in third] and anyone behind, that we're here to win now. That is my plan."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying