Norris explains brake problems after ‘frustrating’ qualy

Jon Wilde
Lando Norris puts his hands over his ears. Baku, June 2022.

McLaren's Lando Norris wearing a cap and putting his hands over his ears. Baku, June 2022.

Lando Norris has described the braking issues that plagued him during a disappointing Austrian Grand Prix qualifying session in which he finished 15th.

The McLaren driver found himself going off track at various points and admitted over the team radio he had completely lost confidence in his car’s brakes.

It was not the only problem the Briton had endured because his MCL36 also required a power-unit change, needing to revert back to an older engine.

In Q2, Norris was unable to even set a representative lap time due to the issues he was experiencing – but nevertheless, he will still start the sprint one place ahead of his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who suffered another torrid afternoon.

“I don’t know the exact problem, I don’t know if it’s something to do with hydraulics or something, but it just means the brakes don’t work as they should, like the brake-by-wire and everything,” Norris told Sky F1.

“You could get lucky that it just somehow works on one lap and it did in Q1 when I did a good lap. But in Q2, every time I tried to brake, the pedal went straight to the floor and the car went straight on.

“There’s nothing I can do apart from brake a lot earlier and a lot less, but then I’m just slow.

“It’s not something I can race with, so we’ll have to fix it for tomorrow.

“A shame, because I think we had the pace today to be in Q3, even with missing most of FP1 due to more issues. It’s just been a frustrating day really.”

Without the troubles he was encountering, Norris felt he had the potential to be much further up the order on the circuit where he gained his first F1 podium finish in 2020.

“I think we should be much higher up than where we are at the minute, but we are not,” he added. “A long weekend still to go to try and make up for it.

“Just for now I’m a bit downbeat, but at the same time we have a lot of opportunities coming up both with the sprint and the long race on Sunday.

“Things can happen all the way from start to finish of the race. I’m optimistic we can at least go forward – I don’t think we are in the position we deserve to be in, so I’m excited for the next few days.”