McLaren’s Lando Norris was anything but pleased with his P9 qualifying performance in Bahrain, admitting to being “annoyed” by his recent one-lap pace on Saturdays.
Norris was the sole McLaren contender in Q3 at Sakhir following teammate Carlos Sainz’s brake failure earlier in the session.
Norris will lead the ninth row of Sunday’s grid but the 21-year-old was convinced he could have outpaced his Racing Point and Renault rivals without a costly mistake.
“A tough quali today, because of the tyre differences and the red flag,” Norris said. “So, it was quite a messy qualifying but the same for everyone.
“We did a good job with the tyres and getting the car turned around quickly.
“We were thinking about [Renault] but just doing the best job we could and we did that all the way to Q3, got in on the mediums,” he said.
“Yeah, we had the pace to do P5, I think it was, but I made one mistake and it cost me the four positions that I wanted.
“I’m a bit frustrated… I dunno, I just haven’t done a good qualifying lap lately and it frustrates and annoys me a lot, so I’ll have to do a better job next week.
“I’ll try to make up for it tomorrow.”
Sainz ‘angry’ after McLaren rear brake failure
McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl admitted the papaya squad will have its work cut out for it on Sunday evening, but the German believes an opportunity to shine could come his drivers’ way with the right strategy calls.
“The points are distributed tomorrow, and we’ll be giving it our all,” Seidl said.
“As was the case in Turkey, our qualifying performance will make the race very challenging – but we’re expecting an interesting Bahrain Grand Prix with various different strategies in place, which should open up opportunities and allow us to recover positions.”
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