Lando Norris has said he is doing a “s*** job” in qualifying, after missing out on what he felt could be a front row in Abu Dhabi.
Norris had been on the tail of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen throughout the session on Saturday, and went through the first two sectors hot on the heels of the reigning World Champion.
But a slide out of the exit of Turn 12 cost Norris what he believed to be around four tenths of a second, meaning he could not improve his previous best time, leaving him on the third row of the grid come Sunday.
Lando Norris bemoans ‘s***’ qualifying form after Turn 12 mistake
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Typically self-critical, Norris felt that lighting up of the rear tyres proved costly for him in his quest for a good grid slot come Sunday.
When asked by media including PlanetF1.com in Abu Dhabi if he felt that slide in Q3 cost him a place on the front row, Norris replied: “100%, but I didn’t do it so it doesn’t matter.”
When asked if that mistake would linger in his mind, he added: “I don’t know. If it was for P1, maybe, but I don’t think I would have been P1 – but you never know.
“If you just make any mistake in qualifying when you’re fighting for a good position, it’s frustrating, but the thing is I just make so many mistakes on a Saturday at the minute.
“Every other lap was some of my best really, Q1, Q2 was my one of best laps, my first lap in Q3 was very strong. Just this one little mistake I don’t even know why it happened, I’ve not done that all weekend so it’s just frustrating because I’m just doing a shit job on Saturday.”
Norris will start the race from fifth on Sunday, but given the lack of practice running he has had over the weekend, he feels like he is going in somewhat blind from a setup and racing perspective.
He sat out FP1 for reserve driver Pato O’Ward as McLaren fulfilled their mandatory rookie running, but he described his Saturday as “terrible” all round.
“I have no idea,” he responded when asked about his potential race pace.
“I did FP2, there was two red flags. I’ve not done more than one lap in a row this weekend, I’ve not done one lap with more than 50 kilos of fuel, so I don’t know.
“It was a terrible day for me today. The car has been very good all weekend with the few laps I’ve done, so we’ll find out.”