Lando Norris admitted he only has himself to blame after underperforming yet again at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix weekend, as he finished third in the Sprint Race behind Max Verstappen and winner Oscar Piastri.
Norris has been beaten by Piastri in every session of the Qatar GP, and the Australian rookie became the first of the McLaren pairing to win a Formula 1 race event.
Norris, who has been frustrated all weekend at the Losail International Circuit, will start the grand prix tenth after a difficult qualifying before his sprint podium, and was asked what is making the car so tricky for him to drive.
“Nothing just lack of talent,” Norris told the media. “I guess everyone has those weekends, this is the weekend for me. It’s just a shame I’m doing it when the cars is as quick as it is, so that’s what makes it more frustrating.”
Never been so frustrated
Norris was dogged by track limits penalties in qualifying, setting no official time in Q3 after initially grabbing second before his lap was deleted.
Things went better in the sprint shootout as he completed a front-row lockout for McLaren, but went off on the last corner of his final flying lap, meaning Piastri started on pole by less than a tenth.
Starting on the medium tyres, Norris suffered an awful getaway on the medium tyres on the dusty inside of the track, and plummeted to sixth on the opening lap, as he was swamped by soft runners and lost a wheel-to-wheel battle with Verstappen.
But even with three safety cars in just a 19-lap sprint, the soft tyres proved a nightmare and ran out of life just halfway through the race, which allowed Norris and Verstappen to reclaim their podium places.
But the Dutchman wasn’t able to chase down Piastri to take the win, while Norris showed yet more frustration post-race at barely being in the fight at the front.
“It was very tough,” Norris added. “Any chance to go backwards I pretty much took.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated with myself. The team did an amazing job, it’s always going to be a shoulda woulda coulda but I should’ve been on pole today.
“I should have at least had a good chance to go for it yesterday against Max but I just made too many mistakes which have cost me, cost me positions today, now I have to start P10 tomorrow when we have a good enough car to finish in the top three easily.
“So I’ve just made my life tough, the team’s life tough when it should be the complete opposite and we should be going from the front.”