Norris: We’re just on the back foot with braking

Norris: We’re just on the back foot with brakingLando Norris put his exit from Q2 – during qualifying in Austria on Friday – down to a braking problem putting McLaren on the back foot.

Norris was only 15th fastest at the end of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, which capped off a miserable day for McLaren that started with a power unit problem on the #4 MCL36 during FP1, while Daniel Ricciardo – eliminated in Q1, suffered from DRS problems throughout the first practice session.

During qualifying, Norris reported that he was “afraid to hit the brakes”, and was quoted by Formula 1’s official website after qualifying saying: “We’re just on the back foot with braking, and it just doesn’t allow us to even do a lap at the minute.”

Which bring back memories of McLaren’s brake problems which they suffered during pre-season testing in Bahrain, a problem they seemed to have in check since, but resurfaced, probably due to the nature of the track in Spielberg that requires more brake cooling.

Norris reflected further on his qualifying, and said: “We had a [power unit] failure this morning – we didn’t start off on the back foot, we started fine, I think the car had decent pace and we should have been in Q3 today.

“I have the confidence in the car when things are working to be in Q3 but just the engine issue this morning, lost a lot of laps, and they were low-fuel laps – so Q1 was my first feeling of low-fuel, higher grip.

Hopefully McLaren can fix brakes for Saturday

“Just on the back foot comparing to other teams, and now even more issues in qualifying which means in the middle of the braking zone, the car just goes straight on, which is pretty scary.

“But hopefully we can fix it for tomorrow,” the 22-year-old concluded.

Daniel Ricciardo had a miserable qualifying as well, only mustering 16th on Friday, and when asked where he was losing pace he said: “It’s honestly just a little bit everywhere.

“I don’t want to just walk out of the turnstiles and say ‘see you later'” he added. “I obviously want to just figure it out and the only way it’s going to get better is if I try and learn and understand a bit more. So, yes, try to just be an adult in this situation.

“Of course, I’ll let some emotion out, whatever, but ultimately we’ve still got a long weekend ahead, so I need to still keep my eyes forward on the prize and know that it’ll get better if we keep working,” the Australian insisted.