Max Verstappen has cheeky dig at Lando Norris and McLaren

Lando Norris put his McLaren third on the grid in Spain

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was surprised at McLaren’s upturn in pace after Lando Norris qualified third for Sunday’s 2023 Spanish Grand Prix and didn’t think he could get his car so high up the F1 order.

Although Verstappen had a comfortable session securing pole position by just under half a second from Carlos Sainz, Norris surprised many by putting his McLaren third on the grid ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

“I am where I expected to be, going into this weekend,” said Verstappen to the media. “I also expected Carlos to be there, I just didn’t expect Lando to be there, but that’s a good surprise. 

“No, sorry. I didn’t expect McLaren to be there I have to rephrase. I always expect Lando to be high up.

“The Alpine looks good, but lately [they] have been improving quite a bit. So, there are no real big shocks.”

Lambiase causes second run to be abandoned

Verstappen, who has been in empathic form this weekend, continued his streak of topping every session in Barcelona, setting a pole lap just over half a second quicker than Carlos Sainz in second.

His second run was set to be even better after going even quicker in sector two before being told to abandon the lap by Red Bull race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase

“Overall, the whole weekend has been delightful to drive the car,” said Verstappen.

“Qualifying started off tricky [as] you needed to be on the track at the right time not making mistakes.

“Going into Q3. I knew there was quite a bit of potential left in the car so I could finally push it to the limit and the car was really quick. 

“The second run would have been even better but I think GP got excited!.  “I was [told] to save the tyres maybe we need [them for] tomorrow, you [just} don’t know.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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