Lando Norris qualified for the Australian Grand Prix in P4, ahead of both Mercedes cars, earning his highest grid position of the season so far.
After finishing slightly ahead of the Merc vehicles, Lando Norris expects a tense duel with them in the Australian Grand Prix.
After a poor start to the season for McLaren, the Briton took P4 in Melbourne, ahead of just Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and the Red Bull combo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Norris confesses he wasn’t anticipating such a positive response.
“I think we were hoping for a good result,” he told media, including RacingNews365.com, after qualifying.
“I think we were expecting, or hoping, to get into Q3. But to be P4, I wouldn’t say we were expecting that. To be ahead of the Mercedes, to be ahead of everyone else apart from Red Bull and Ferrari, we can be very happy with that.
“We’ve worked hard, I guess we’ve made some small steps forward. But also the car is just much quicker here, it’s working better since FP1. I did the first few laps and already felt a lot more confident.”
Norris anticipates a “good race” with Mercedes
Norris feels optimistic about his chances in Sunday’s race after such a solid qualifying performance.
The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are in fifth and sixth place, respectively, and the 22-year-old expects to combat them as well as the Alpines.
“I think we can expect a good race,” Norris explained.
“I think it’s going be a big fight with Mercedes, probably the Alpines as well.”
The McLaren driver also believes that the Albert Park circuit improvements will play a role in the Grand Prix.
“[There’s] going to be a few new situations, [with the] new tarmac, a new circuit, a lot of DRS zones, although one of them’s been taken away,” Norris said.
“It’s still going to be a track you can race well at. We’ll see, but we can score some good points tomorrow, and that’s going to be the aim for us.”
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