Lando Norris doesn’t expect to be as competitive in qualifying for the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix as he was in free practice two on Friday.
Norris had a quiet first practice session on Friday, ending up 12th fastest, but in the afternoon session he put in a fast lap right at the end of the session, putting his McLaren third fastest with a best time of 1m.18.743s.
But, Norris doesn’t believe that result is a true representation of the competitive order in Portugal, with a number of drivers unable to put in optimal laps due to disruptions throughout the session.
The McLaren driver also said that he struggled to get the balance right throughout Friday and wasn’t entirely happy with the setup on his car.
“The tarmac and temperatures here make it quite tricky to get everything in the right window, which makes the car balance quite tricky as well.” said Norris after practice.
“It’s been very difficult to put a lap together, due to the disrupted sessions with the red flags and traffic at such a short circuit.
“Those factors, in combination, have made it a very difficult day to achieve a good balance.
“We ended up in a good position, but I think we’re a long way from that in terms of actual pace.
“So, we’ve got a lot of work to do tonight to see how we can improve for tomorrow.”
Norris’ teammate Carlos Sainz also had a reasonable Friday finishing sixth and fifth in practice one and two respectively, and he believes that with a number of drivers failing to get clean laps in during practice, there will be a big margin for improvement on Saturday.
“We managed to finish the session fairly high up on the standings without particularly clean runs or clean laps.” commented Sainz.
“That means everyone has a very large margin for improvement going into Saturday.
“We still need to improve the car quite a bit overnight and make sure we get it in the right window for tomorrow.”