Lando Norris has completed his best qualifying since the Russian Grand Prix. The young Briton can start from third place in his McLaren car and will have a perfect view of the battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in front of him. The British team driver hopes he will not play a major role in the battle of the titans. “I just want to sit back a little bit and not get too involved.”
The 22-year-old driver is surprised that he can start from the second row. Norris felt that all was well during his Q3 lap at the Yas Marina Circuit. “I am very happy,” said the McLaren driver after qualifying. “I didn’t expect to qualify this high. Everything fell into place and I put myself in the best position to score good points. It will be a tough race, but I’m looking forward to it.’
As well as being in a good position to take points, the driver also has the perfect spot to watch the battle between the two title contenders. “I have the best spot on the track,” Norris says with a laugh. “I think it’s really nice to see the fight unfold. I have a lot of respect for both Lewis and Max. I’m happy with third place and not only because it’s a good place to start, but also because it gives me the perfect view.’
Difficult session for Ricciardo
Team boss Andreas Seidl is pleased that his driver can start on the second row. On the other hand, he saw Daniel Ricciardo struggled during qualifying. “Lando put in a sensational lap,” Seidl said on the McLaren website. “Unfortunately, the maximum for Daniel was tenth place. However, we hope that we can end the season in a good way by scoring a lot of points.”
Ricciardo agrees that he couldn’t get a perfect lap in Q3. The Australian mainly saw that the softs were not working well for him. “It was a very difficult session for me. I just couldn’t get the tires up to the right temperature. I have to try to find an answer to that. Nevertheless, I am happy for Lando to start from third. I would have loved to be near him, but it wasn’t allowed to be,” Ricciardo said.