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norris p1 qualifying-001

Norris: Let’s Go Baby! Let’s f@ck!ng Go!

mclaren norris p1 qualifying-001

Lando Norris denied Max Verstappen pole position for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix, after the McLaren driver delivered his finest Qualifying effort “a perfect lap” in his own words, to claim P1 on the grid for Sunday’s race in Barcelona.

It was a very close Qualifying, 0.020s to be precise which was enough for Norris to double his Formula 1 career pole position tally to two. The McLaren driver’s last P1 start was at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix.

As the reality dawned that he would start from P1 on Sunday, from the cockpit of the car Norris roared over the radio: “Let’s Go Baby! Let’s f@ck!ng Go!”

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In the end, Norris ‘stole’ it from Verstappen who had blitzed around the Montmelo track three-tenths of a second faster than anyone else with his last effort in Q3. But Norris behind him on track was equally inspired to beat the Dutchman who many times turned the tables on him past Quali sessions.

After Qualifying, Norris said in the Barcelona parc ferme: “It was pretty much a perfect lap. You know when you are on a good lap and you are getting excited but the whole thing went perfectly in the end. Close still but super happy.

“I would say my best pole position. I have not had many but of the ones I have had my best. It has been close all weekend but really it was about a perfect lap and that is what I did.”

Norris: Today was a perfect lap

Asked if the weekend was revealing the strengths of the McLaren, Norris replied: “It is not just this weekend- we have been fast the last two months since Miami we have been strong. We have missed out on pole by just not doing a perfect lap. Today was a perfect lap.

“Max and Red Bull seemed a little bit stronger all weekend but we made some little changes for the final run, I had some areas to improve, and we did that. I know it is going to be tough against Max, against Lewis, and everyone behind. We are here to win so that is my plan,” declared Norris.

While Lando enjoyed one of his finest F1 Qualifying sessions, teammate Oscar Piastri suffered his worst Qualy result of the season. The Australian making mistakes during both his attempts, meant no time on the board for him and a P10 in Q3.

Norris did not have much to say in his review: “Not the best Qualifying, we just struggled with the balance of the car the whole way through. Obviously the car has pace so we’ll dig into what went wrong and work out how we can fight back tomorrow. Today was just one of those days, unfortunately.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown beamed: “That was an awesome lap. I spoke to Lando and Oscar before they went out and Lando had the confidence that he had a shot at pole. The team put him out at the right time, got a nice tow into the first sector.

“Oscar had a nice lap going but just pushed a little hard in the third sector. It was nice seeing the sectors come up with Lando. The weather looks a bit iffy tomorrow, our race pace looks strong, but anything can happen,” ventured Brown.

Stella: It’s good that we could confirm the progress of the team

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 22: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on

Final word to McLaren team principal Andrea Stella: “A pole position at a circuit like Barcelona, which is very demanding for the drivers and for the cars, is obviously a great result for the entire team. We have achieved important milestones recently, but the pole position was still one of those achievements that had eluded us.

“It’s good that we could confirm the progress of the team, and of the car, with this pole position. A great drive by Lando, he drove qualifying faultlessly and, when it counted, put together one of the best laps of his career.

“Again, the field proved to be very, very tight, so anything can happen tomorrow. We’ll have to stay focused and try to maximise a good start from pole for Lando.

“On Oscar’s side, the Qualifying session was a little untidy. Oscar struggled a bit more to get into a rhythm and, in Q3, couldn’t effectively put together a lap without exceeding track limits.

“We know the pace is there and tomorrow is a completely different situation. We will reset, look at what we need to improve, and we look ahead to finishing in a better position to where we start and scoring important points for the team,” concluded Stella.

McLaren are P3 in the 2024 F1 Constructors’ Standings, Norris is P3 and Piastri P6 in the Drivers’ table ahead of Round 10 on Sunday, the Spanish Grand Prix.