Lando Norris has said McLaren could have gone even better in qualifying for the Azerbaijan GP despite the team showing significant improvement after applying a host of upgrades for the weekend.
Norris will start the race on Sunday from seventh after both he and teammate Oscar Piastri’s first joint Q3 apperance of the season in Baku, but the Brit said the team could have placed as high as fourth if it weren’t for a couple of decision making errors.
“I think definitely before today 100%, we would have taken it. I think it’s a great result,” Norris told reporters.
“I think the sequence of the upgrades worked well, the car is working well on this circuit at the same time. I feel like I did a better job of my driving and things should have been better. Really, I think we should have been P4 today.
“So yeah, a bit disappointed honestly. We as a team didn’t do the best job with making the correct decisions of what to do. But apart from that, things were still positive.
“But yeah, we just put ourselves in the middle of nowhere for having a P7 today and not being able to do the runs tomorrow with a new tyre. So yeah, mix minds, many positive things.
“I think if we look at it from that side, the team has done a great job of getting the parts here and allowing them to work straightaway. You know, we’ve got confidence that we could put them on and things run cleanly and that’s what happened.”
‘Didn’t maximise today’
Norris said the team had made improvements on the car since Australia and it seemed to be working well on the street circuit of Baku, but that the performance in qualifying had left them with a difficult task for the Sprint Race and Grand Prix.
“We just didn’t maximise today, and at the same time, we’re not going to be able to maximise tomorrow,” he said.
“So yeah, tricky one. I think we’re quick enough to be like I said to have been P4 today, whether or not other people maybe also made mistakes, that can always happen.
“But we have a good chance to score some good points tomorrow, even in the second quali and the race, even on Sunday. So I’m looking forward to it. I’m happy. I’m excited. The team have put everything together very well. So yeah, looking forward to it.”