‘Terrible’ vs ‘Very good’ – Norris and Piastri find different culprits after McLaren Miami sprint qualifying fell apart

McLaren were 1-2 in SQ2 led by Lando Norris, but he collapsed to ninth with Oscar Piastri sixth for the Miami GP sprint

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Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri drew wildly contrasting conclusions from sprint qualifying at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix as they managed the fastest time of the afternoon but only finished sixth and ninth in SQ3.

Norris topped SQ2 with a time of 1:27.597 with Piastri second, but neither driver could repeat that success on the soft tyre, with the Australian leading the team but over half a second behind polesitter Max Verstappen.

Verstappen himself sounded surprised to secure sprint pole especially as his time was slower than Norris‘ SQ2 benchmark, but he was much more positive than Piastri despite finishing behind his teammate.

“I just pushed too hard,” Norris told F1TV. “The car was feeling very good, just silly to be honest. A couple of mistakes in Turn One and it was a big spiral from there, a shame because the team have done a good job.

“The upgrades are working. I’m happy with everything, the pace is very good, probably one of the quickest. Disappointed with today but I will do my best tomorrow.”

Piastri: Trickey session for everyone

Oscar Piastri during Day 1 of F1 testing 2024 | McLaren

With the sprint race to come and changes now able to be made before grand prix qualifying on Saturday afternoon, McLaren‘s weekend is far from over.

They qualified behind the Ferraris and an inspired Daniel Ricciardo for the sprint but had outperformed those rivals to begin the weekend, while both Mercedes failed to make it to the final qualifying session for the first time since the 2023 Austrian GP.

Piastri predicted an action-packed sprint given the jumbled grid, but also dispelled concerns over tyre temperatures in the Florida heat.

“I think it’s just a really, really tricky session for everybody,” Piastri added. “I don’t know if the track changed a little bit or if we all just thought the soft was going to be a lot better.

“But yeah, my lap felt pretty terrible. And it was P6 so I think everyone must’ve just had a bad run. I think Lando did the quickest lap of the whole qualifying on a medium in SQ2. So yeah, a bit strange but I’ll take P6.

“It’s gonna be tough for everybody I think, but the tyres seems to be surviving ok they’re just very hot. So yeah not too concerned, but I think could be an exciting sprint. We’ve got a few cars out position, I feel like nobody’s really had much consistency so it should be exciting tomorrow.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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