Lando Norris has better feel for F1 qualifying compared to F2
Lando Norris says McLaren’s MCL34 has given him a stronger feel in qualifying compared to his stint in Formula 2, having impressed with his one-lap displays in 2019.
Norris has made Q3 on seven occasions – including on his debut in Australia – and has qualified inside the top 10 at each of the last four events, peaking with fifth in France.
He also holds a 7-3 advantage in the head-to-head battle with team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.
“I don’t want to jinx it but I feel more confident in this car and in F1, not just because I am doing well, but at the very start of the season it was very hard to put a lap together but I felt I was more comfortable in the car compared to last year,” said Norris.
“[That’s in] F1 compared to F2. Not because it is easier or because it does anything, I just have a better feeling for it.
“I think a bit of it is purely that, that I feel more confident in the car and I have a better idea for the limits and how to always be on that limit.
“But then [it’s also] a combination of working with the team, preparing for a lot for this year.
“I think knowing myself I didn’t do the best of jobs last year [in Formula 2] and I am working on that area.
“I am sure as everyone knows that I am not the happiest if I don’t do a good job in qualifying or the race. I think beating myself up sometimes and knowing I am not happy when I do it makes me work harder to do a good job.”
Norris stressed that making Q3 is still not regarded as an expectation for either himself or McLaren.
“I don’t think it feels normal, I’m still excited and very happy for the whole team and myself when I get into Q3 as I know I must have done a good job,” he said.
“It is not like we are easily quick enough that Q3 is an easy thing to do.
“We have to get into Q3 off of pure performance and bring the lap together and really nailing it. That gives me a lot of confidence that I have got in again and done a good job.
“It still feels very nice and of course when we don’t get into Q3 it is very disappointing, but I don’t think it is a massive surprise that maybe Carlos [at Silverstone] or me in another race, if we don’t get into Q3.
“I still love it and I am still very proud of getting into Q3 when we do.”