Lando Norris believes McLaren’s unexpected Q1 exit in qualifying for the Las Vegas Grand Prix was a “reality check” for the team, which has been on a roll lately.
Norris has finished on the podium in five of the past six races and is in a battle with Aston Martin for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
However, the weekend at the Las Vegas Strip circuit was much tougher for McLaren. Norris missed out on qualifying in 16th place by just 0.020 seconds, while his teammate Oscar Piastri also qualified in 19th place.
Although disappointed with the result, Norris said that the MCL60’s struggles on the circuit were not at all shocking. When asked how he felt after losing in Q1, Norris commented, “I got knocked out, so it’s not that good!”
“But the pace of the car was, to be honest, our pace. Honestly, the pace of the car is where we are.
“But to be honest, the pace of the car was exactly where we were, where we were all weekend.”
“I was quite a bit behind the pace, but to be honest I can say it is where I expected it to be. It was a difficult weekend and of course the car didn’t perform as well as it had in the last few weeks so it was disappointing. I knew from the first few laps that I wasn’t going to be very fast.”
“In some ways, I can’t say it’s great, but I think it’s good to have a reality check. This year is better than next year. It’s not what we wanted, but in some ways we expected it. This is the result of
Norris added that the car was both “slow on low fuel and slow on high fuel”, but while the new track is deceptively difficult for McLaren, this is similar to the ups and downs experienced by other teams on the grid. I believe that the situation is
“I’ve seen guys go up and down so many times,” Norris said. “We know our strengths and weaknesses, what we’re good at and what we’re not good at. Like Mercedes were struggling really hard in Brazil. Ferrari was struggling even more in Brazil. All of a sudden they looks like the fastest car here.”
“So everyone has a little bit of ups and downs. It’s about time we let ourselves down a little bit to make us realize that we still have weaknesses and big struggles. On days like today, it hurts inside, but I think sometimes it’s a good thing.”
Category: F1 / land norris / McLaren F1 Team / F1 Las Vegas GP