Lando Norris says he expects “the obvious four cars” to be at the front of the Bahrain Grand Prix grid, in spite of his eye-catching performance on Friday.
Norris finished third in the opening daytime practice session and then emerged as Max Verstappen’s closest challenger across Soft tyre runs in the second session, held in more representative conditions.
Norris’ effort left him just 0.095s down on Verstappen but he emphasised he does not expected to retain his lofty position into Saturday.
“I’m a bit surprised by today but I think it is [because] we showed more pace than the others, simple as that,” he said.
“I think we’ll see the obvious four cars at the front tomorrow I’m guessing. You never know, we could be a surprise, but the car didn’t feel that good today.
“I guess [it is] a bit promising that if we can improve those things into tomorrow then we can be even better.
“Whether we can improve on them is the question because they’re similar things to what we’ve been working on all season and we’ll see if we can come up with anything tomorrow.
“I’m quietly confident I guess but, yeah, although we looked good today I don’t want to get too confident as I don’t think that’s where we’re going to be tomorrow.”
Norris added that he is still getting accustomed to the nuances of McLaren’s MCL35M.
“I don’t have the confidence that I want, especially on medium- and high-speed corners,” he said.
“Turns 6-7, I made a mistake on the first lap and had to abort as I completely lost the rear.
“My confidence in the car isn’t where I want it to be, isn’t where we had it last year, but there’s also improvements in other places compared to last year. So there’s areas to work on and that’s our job.”