Norris: A mega race from start to finish

Norris: A mega race from start to finish

Norris: A mega race from start to finish

Lando Norris dubbed his 2023 Qatar Grand Prix a mega race after storming from tenth to third on the grid, in what ended up being the physically toughest race this season.

Norris lost out on top three start and was relegated to tenth on the starting grid of the race on Sunday around the Lusail International Circuit, after failing to keep his MCL60 within the track limits during Friday’s qualifying session.

But a combination of determined driving along with a rapid MCL60 meant the Briton managed to finish third at the end of the grueling 57-lap race.

“It was just a mega race from start to finish,” Norris reflected on his race in McLaren‘s media brief. “We had a good opening lap.”

“I learned from my mistake yesterday of going wide, I said I’d go tight, and I did, and it worked out,” he said hinting at track limits.

“So, a good start, we had good pace throughout the whole thing. Probably the best pace out there today, so I’m happy. Stressful, hot, sweaty, little bit tired but a great job for the team.

“Three in a row now. A 1.8 second pit-stop as well!” the Briton trumpeted hailing an impressive pit stop from his team as well as his third podium finish in a row.

Ahead of the race, the FIA mandated that tyre stints should not exceed 18 laps on new tyres, as Pirelli were concerned about the safety of their tyres that were apparently getting a beating from the kerbs around the Lusail track.

That meant the teams had to do at least three stops, with the drivers sprinting between them, meaning it was a tough day in a humid and hot office for the drivers.

“I think the three-stop made it a lot harder physically,” Norris reflected. “You could push a lot more. Even the last stint, you could pretty much push flat-out.

“This was one of the hardest races I’ve done, but it’s a nice challenge and congrats to Oscar. Thank you to the team for their incredible work to put us in this position,” the 23-year-old concluded.

Norris is now seventh in the 2023 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship with 136 points, nine points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in sixth.