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shanghai chinese grand prix pole position norris f1

China Sprint Race Qualifying Top 3 Quotes Norris Hamilton Alonso

Shanghai Sprint Race Qualifying Top Three Quotes shanghai chinese grand prix pole position norris f1

Lando Norris was King of the Rain when the first ever Sprint Race Qualifying took place at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix on Friday. Report brought to you by BC.GAME

The McLaren driver claiming the top spot start for Saturday’s Sprint Race surrounded by two Formula 1 living legends: Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

The two veterans showing just why they are so in demand, with quality performances by both World Champions with Hamilton ending P2 and Alonso P3 after a thrilling Qualifying in Shanghai, in front of a packed and appreciative crowd, witnessing a challenging wet SQ3 session in which the cream rose to the top.

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Here is what the top three had to say after Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Race:

P1. Lando Norris: The car feels good and so do I

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Speaking in parc ferme after claiming pole, Norris said of his chances of winning Saturday’s Sprint Race: “Not a clue. We did some work this morning and consecutive laps to try and understand.  It depends what the weather is like.

Norris is hoping for a repeat when it comes to the weather: “If it’s like this, then the chances are relatively decent but the race is very different to Qualifying. The pace is good, whether it’s wet or dry, so we are in a decent position. The team did a good job, the car feels good and so do I.”

In the team McLaren Qualifying report from China, Norris added: “I’m extremely happy, first of all, a big thanks to the whole team. It was tricky. Going into a session like this isn’t easy, especially before Sprint Quali when you know it’s going to rain.

“I was quite happy with how we were in the dry. We’ve had good pace all weekend so far, so it was a challenge heading into the session with changeable conditions, where you’ve got to push, build tyre temperature and get a lap in.

“There is still a chance of rain tomorrow, so if it’s like this, then I think our chances of a good result are relatively decent, but the race is very different to qualifying and I’m sure everyone is going to catch up a bit.

“I think we’re in a good position and I’m very happy. The team did a good job, the car’s feeling good and so am I, and it’s paying off,” concluded Norris, whose pole-winning time was a whopping 1.2 seconds better than the next best could muster.

Teammate Oscar Piastri will line up P8, his lap time in SQ3 was a massive three seconds slower than Norris who raced in Shanghai during his 2019 F1 rookie season. Paistri has never raced at the venue.

P2. Lewis Hamilton: If it’s wet we have a chance

hamilton qualifying chinese gp

Despite missing out on pole position 105 of his stellar F1 career, Hamilton was nevertheless chuffed to be starting on the front row from P2: “It was very tricky. Not a lot of grip for everyone but I’m so happy.

“As soon as I saw the rain coming I got excited because in the dry we were not quick enough, so when the rain came I thought we would have a better opportunity and that’s when it came alive.”

As for his chances in the Sprint Race, Hamilton ventured: “It really depends on what the conditions will be. If it’s like that, we will have a chance of being somewhere up there. If it’s dry, the Ferraris and Red Bulls will come by but maybe we can hold off some of the others.”

Hamilton, a six-time winner of the Chinese Grand Prix, added later in the Mercedes Qualifying report: “The wet weather gave us more of an opportunity. That’s when it all came alive. We will have to wait and see what the conditions are. We have a lot of fast cars starting behind us, but we will see what we can do to keep them behind us.”

In the other Mercedes, Geroge Russell’s side of the garage timed things wrong and his Qualy session ended in Q2, with P11 to his name.

P3. Fernando Alonso: In Qualifying SQ3 every lap was a bit different

Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso zaubert in Regen-Quali, Lance Stroll schreibt F1-Sprint ab

Starting from P3 with a handy Aston Martin at his disposal, Alonso reported after Qualy: “Quite stressful! In SQ1, we were looking at the weather and the threat of rain.

“We made some progress in SQ1 then just got through in SQ2, so were not super competitive in the dry. Then it rained in SQ3 and every lap was a bit different. The tyres were a bit better every lap but the circuit was worse with more rain.

“It was difficult to judge the level of grip but in the end, I’m extremely happy. We have the two races now, so let’s see if we can score some points in the Sprint and qualify well for Sunday,” added Alonso, winner of the Chinese GP in 2005 and 2013.

For Lance Stroll things looked good after he topped the timesheets after FP1, but when it mattered the Canadian was down in P15. (Additional Reporting by Agnes Carlier in Shanghai)