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Lando Norris

Why Norris feels he made McLaren look ‘too good’ in Japan

Lando Norris qualified in third place at the Suzuka Circuit but dropped to fifth at the chequered flag.

Norris race Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris has claimed that he made McLaren look “too good” in Japan after enduring a disparity between his qualifying and race pace.

Norris was the fastest non-Red Bull driver on Saturday at Suzuka and secured third place for the start of the grand prix.

Ferrari was forced to recover its race result after a difficult qualifying outing but managed to jump Norris during the race, with the McLaren driver crossing the line in fifth place.

Norris asserted that he was not surprised by Ferrari's race pace.

“It was as expected to be honest with you,” Norris told media including RacingNews365.

“I don’t think the Ferrari race pace was anything incredible. I don't think it’s as good as what Red Bull thought it was.

“It’s just like a spiral, we're fighting a losing battle. Still not a bad day, I think where we are, we expected to be in the end, which is behind Ferrari.

“It’s where we've been all year so it should be no different, and it was no different.

“I think [during qualifying], we just excelled. I put in some very strong laps, and maybe made us look a bit too good. It was a bit more back to reality [during the race].”

False hope

Norris has conceded that McLaren fell into the trap of having “false hope” heading into the grand prix after its strong result.

“It felt a lot worse out there, only 10 seconds behind [Sainz in third], I think is a good job by us,” he said.

“And it was 30 [seconds] then to the win, which for as bad as it felt, it isn’t as bad as it looks from my eyes.

“The tyre degradation is huge, we hoped for more -maybe that was a bit of a false hope. T

“That’s why it feels a bit tougher. If we started further back I think we would have been happy with P5.”

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