McLaren’s Lando Norris says he will challenge Austrian Grand Prix pole-sitter Max Verstappen for the lead if he race if he is provided with the opportunity to do so.
Norris will start Sunday’s race from second on the grid, after ending qualifying 0.048s down on the Red Bull driver.
It marks Norris’ best ever qualifying result, at a track where he took his maiden F1 podium 12 months ago.
“I don’t want to be too negative, I want to be optimistic, as I should be,” Norris said of his race prospects.
“But I’m also realistic and know that it’s going to be a tough race. We’re in the best position possible to maximise everything.
“If I have a chance to go for P1, a chance to race Max and go for it, I will. I’m still doing that, I’m still racing, still doing the best I can.
“I think I also know what’s best for us, what’s best for myself, best for the team and sadly who we’re racing against in the race tomorrow.”
Norris split both Red Bull drivers at the end of Q3, while the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were fourth and fifth respectively.
The 21-year-old states his lap was a “risk versus reward” scenario, but believes he did the best possible job, despite the minute margin to pole position.
“The whole of quali was pretty good, pretty straightforward, good laps and so on,” Norris said.
“[I] definitely saved the best until last, did my best lap in Q3 run two, so I’m obviously very happy. I’ve a great position for tomorrow, I think we maximised everything we could today.
“Also only four hundredths away from pole, it would have been nice to do that little bit more, but I’m happy where I am.”