Lando Norris Puts on a Display in Sprint Qualifying

April 19, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Lando Norris showed the true pace of his McLaren in the Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying session this afternoon. In recent unfamiliar fashion Norris was able to beat out Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen in the session to claim pole position for the Sprint Race that is set to take place later today.

Norris said, “I was quite happy with how it was in the dry, I think we’ve had good pace all weekend so far. I got a bit nervous. They’re conditions where you’ve just got to risk a lot, you’ve got to push, build tyre temperature and so forth.

I was quick, I just kept catching a Ferrari, so I had to keep backing off. I didn’t do the first two laps well at all, but I got a good final one, a good enough one for pole. I’m happy… sad it’s not for a proper qualifying, but it’s good enough.

Norris Continued On Bouncing Back From Mistakes

“You only have three laps. The first two I aborted on both, so I was like, ‘The last lap is all or nothing’. But it was getting wetter and wetter, so actually the conditions for the final two laps were a lot worse than the second lap.

I was a little bit nervous that I’d made a few mistakes, started to aquaplane quite a bit, but it’s good fun – it gets your heart going. Getting up on top is exactly what we wanted, so a nice surprise and a good position for tomorrow.”

Hamilton Surges Forward

Lewis Hamilton turned heads in China when he finished second fastest on the grid for Sprint qualifying. Mercedes has struggled to find pace in the last few rounds of the Formula 1 season. However, in rainy conditions its anyone’s game and the car speed advantages of the teams currently ahead of Mercedes in Performance start to count for nothing. “It was very tricky conditions out there,” he said. As you could see, there was not a lot of grip out there for anyone. As soon as I saw the rain coming though, I was getting very excited. Our pace in the dry didn’t look quite quick enough to challenge at the very front, so 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 tomorrow. We have a lot of fast cars starting behind us, but we will see what we can do to keep them behind us.

Sprint Race Qualifying Results

14Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:36.3841:36.0471:57.94013
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:37.1811:36.2871:59.20115
314Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:36.8831:36.1191:59.91514
41Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:36.4561:35.6062:00.02812
555Carlos SainzFERRARI1:36.7191:36.0522:00.21415
611Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:36.1101:35.7812:00.37512
716Charles LeclercFERRARI1:36.5371:35.7112:00.56615
881Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:36.5421:35.8532:00.99015
977Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:37.1121:36.0562:01.04416
1024Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:37.5441:36.3072:03.53716
1163George RussellMERCEDES1:37.3101:36.34510
1220Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:37.0331:36.47310
1327Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:36.9241:36.47810
143Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:37.3211:36.5539
1518Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:36.9611:36.6778
1610Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:37.6326
1731Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:37.7206
1823Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:37.8126
1922Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:37.8926
202Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:37.9236