“Everyone was thinking we were going to be heroes”- Lando Norris points out that there are quicker teams on the grid than them.
On the first day of the Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren was riding high with near to perfect scores in the free practice sessions, but things didn’t turn out as fruitful on the day of qualifying.
Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris bagged P6 and P7, respectively, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly fetched P4 and P5 position in the qualifying.
Thus, Apart from Mercedes and Red Bull, Ferrari and Alpha Tauri are looking threatening to McLaren, which was not the case earlier. On this, Lando Norris has claimed that the Woking-based team was being hyped out of proportion.
“I think we’re where we expect to be. We’re quite happy. Of course, we would have been a bit happier to be ahead of both the Ferraris and both AlphaTauris,” he said.
“But I think throughout all of qualifying it was sure that the AlphaTauris were quite a bit quicker than us, or just quicker than us, from the very first run we did in qualifying. So I think we’re happy to split them at least, and probably to split the Ferraris, too.”
We were never going to be heroes
Despite, pointing out the hype of McLaren, he claims that his team was realistic and are happy with the results brought by him and teammate Ricciardo.
“Everyone was thinking we were going to be heroes for some reason after yesterday, but we were never going to be. We kind of focus on ourselves, we didn’t see the results as anything special, so we can be happy with the result today.”
“The [practice] result was alright,” he added. “Everyone thought everything’s amazing. But even when the result’s okay, it doesn’t mean everything is amazing.
“The car was pretty difficult to drive and tricky so as a driver I’m not going to be happy with it, and we spent a lot of time last night trying to make improvements.”
Norris being four-hundredths of a second behind Ricciardo is a good sign for the Briton race driver, as at the end of the day competing against a veteran in the same car.
“Of course, one position higher would have been nice, but it was Daniel, and I was split between two hundredths or something. It’s a little bit here and there.
“We didn’t have the smoothest of runs with some of the deployment and things like that, so not a perfect run for us, but it wasn’t bad and I’m not going to complain or have any excuses.”
“I think I’m where I deserve to be, and we are as a team. So we’ve got a fight on our hands tomorrow, and we’ll try and go forwards.”