Lando Norris says his incident with Nikita Mazepin on Q1 cost him a better qualifying position than the one he ended up achieving.
Norris was held up by Mazepin at the last chicane during Q1. He had to make another run to be outside of the risk zone, and in doing so he had to sacrifice a new set of soft tires, something which played against him at the later stages.
“I feel like it kind of cost me qualy today,” Norris said. “The car was good. I feel like I didn’t do a bad job. I just had one guy who held me up a lot, which meant I had to use my second set of tires.
“When it’s split by thousandths and hundredths and tenths and stuff, you want have the opportunity to kind of improve and you can’t make any mistakes. When you have something like that and you only have one set of tires to really push on, it definitely cost us today. So it’s a bit annoying because I feel like we could have been fifth, sixth or something but it didn’t happen.”
Norris encountered issues on his first run in Q3, as he found gravel on track. However, the McLaren driver was running with an old set of tires.
“There was a little bit of gravel in turn 13,” he said. “Someone said Perez spun there or something. So I think I was like the first guy to push through it and just unlucky because there’s some crap on the track and I lost a couple of tenths.
When Norris switched to a new set of tires for his final Q3 run, he explained that neither him nor other drivers managed to improve on deteriorating track conditions.
“No one really seemed to improve on their second push lap,” he said. “I don’t know if it got a bit more windy or whatever. That was a hindsight thing, you would have put your new set on for run one in Q3 rather than run two.
“But you never know. We were just unlucky and the only reason for that is Q1 and having the traffic in the final corner.”