Lando Norris admits he is “gutted” to have only qualified seventh for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix despite feeling his McLaren was good enough for pole position.
McLaren appeared to be a threat for pole throughout qualifying and Norris set the fastest time of Q2 to put himself firmly in the frame. However, with heavy rain approaching quickly in the final part of qualifying, Norris could only manage seventh on the grid and says it feels like a missed opportunity.
“It was great, honestly — the car was amazing,” Norris said. “Easily probably quick enough to be quickest today and on pole, so pretty gutted it had to end the way we did. I don’t know how to feel about it — I think the car was amazing, it came alive a lot in qualifying and easily good enough to be quickest I would say.
“Obviously delivering the lap and putting it all together in Q3 and everything is a different job, but easily quick enough. So disappointed, but not a lot we could have done.
“I look forward to tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s meant to be wet or dry tomorrow, but in the dry we should be quick enough. So, a shame.”
Teammate Oscar Piastri was the penultimate car out on track and slid off at Juncao — the final braking zone — and says he found the conditions tricky as he ended up 10th on Sunday’s grid.
“Just lost a lot of grip,” Piastri said. “I don’t know if it was already raining but I was struggling a lot already on the lap — I think everyone was, based on how slow the laps were. I just went in as I thought I had the last lap and slid straight off. A shame — the pace in the car was looking good — but we’ll try again tomorrow.”
On his first visit to Interlagos, Piastri at least saw positives from the speed he displayed on Friday with just one practice session to get comfortable.
“I think it was going well. It’s a difficult track to get right and get it all together. But it’s been a good day in terms of pace, just obviously this weather has thrown a spanner in the works. I just need to look at what went wrong in Q3.”