norris melbourne qualifying

Norris: We’ve improved in a couple of areas

norris melbourne qualifying

McLaren’s Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri assessed the team’s relative standing after their best overall Qualifying session of 2024.

While 2024 has started better for the Woking-based outfit than 2023, they haven’t quite reached the highs of the latter-half of last year when they were challenging for regular podiums and even won a Sprint race courtesy of Piastri.

Nevertheless, McLaren managed their best collective Qualifying performance this year for the Australian Grand Prix. Norris will line up P4 while Piastri starts P6 for the 58-lap race.

The former has looked quicker throughout the weekend so far, topping the timings for FP1 and toppling Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc from the second row on his final run in Q3.

Speaking after Qualifying, Norris was asked about his thoughts on McLaren’s progress so far this season. He said: “We’ve improved in a couple of small areas. There’s always things every weekend you try and bring to the car to improve a little bit. I think we’ve maximised ourselves, and maybe others haven’t maximised themselves.

“It’s clear I would say from today that we’ve been a little bit ahead of our main competitors. Maybe some people didn’t maximise their result. But I think at the same time, we did. And we also just have a good car this weekend, certainly better than previous weekend”, added the Briton.

McLaren’s MCL38, much like 2023’s MCL60, appears to excel on tracks with plenty of high-speed corners. Norris believes this is part of the reason why they were right up there with the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull in Qualifying.

He continued: “It’s just a slightly different layout of circuit potentially played into our favour a little bit more than some others. There are a few high-speed corners that help our car at this circuit.

Piastri excitement for home race

noriss piastri qualifying melbourne mclaren

Norris was also asked what he thought about his teammate Piastri’s solid start to 2024, the latter’s second year in Formula 1. He said: “There’s a very, very apparent gain: Oscar is immediately quick. Every session is quick.

With Oscar, at every event, every time he gets in the car it looks like he has absorbed some more skills. So that’s for me the main element I would highlight compared to his rookie season.

Piastri is racing at his home race in F1 for a second time. His childhood home in Melbourne was just a short 15-minute drive away from the Albert Park Circuit. Unsurprisingly, the Aussie is excited for the Australian Grand Prix.

He stated: “I feel relaxed from that side of things. So it’s been nice. I feel like there are a few more people that know who I am this time around as well. It’s been cool. But yeah, I think it’s been a good week so far.

Lining up on the third row for the race, the 22-year-old outlined his expectations: “It will be tough. We looked pretty strong in our race runs yesterday. But the cars around us also look strong. Or at least the cars in front of us.

So, in order to beat Red Bull or Ferrari were going to need to find something extra or have a bit of good fortune. But honestly, if we can finish around where we start and not go further backwards that would obviously be a good day for us tomorrow,” Piastri concluded.

The Australian Grand Prix commences at 04:00 GMT (15:00 local time) on Sunday, March 24th. How will McLaren’s “improvements” fare around the streets of Melbourne for the race?