P7 Lando Norris ‘not expecting a lot more’ after car felt ‘terrible’ in sprint

Sam Cooper
Lando Norris on the McLaren pit wall. Singapore October 2022.

Lando Norris did not have high hopes for Sunday’s race despite finishing in the points during the Sao Paulo sprint race.

It has been a difficult weekend so far for the McLaren man with him first being a doubt for the race after contracting a bout of suspected food poisoning, but his mood was improved after qualifying P4 for Saturday’s sprint.

Speaking on Friday, Norris admitted he did not feel 100% following his recent sickness and during the Sprint, he soon found himself dropping down the order, going on to finish P7.

Norris said “the car felt terrible” after the run-out and conceded that he did not have high hopes for a better showing in Sunday’s Grand Prix.

“No chance to compete with the other guys,” he told F1.com. “They’re so much faster than us, even on Lap 1 so [it was] tough, but our main objective was to try and pass [Kevin] Magnussen and that’s what we did so I’m happy.

“The car felt terrible, but I feel like everyone thought that today, just low grip, hot track temperature. So difficult, but we got some points. Better than nothing so I’m happy.

“I don’t expect a lot more [on Sunday] than we have today. I think it was a good race.

“So remaining in the points and if we can get a double points finish, I know Daniel [Ricciardo] came through well, so if we can get into the points tomorrow, it could be a good day for us.”

His team-mate seemed to have a more enjoyable time in what was is his penultimate race weekend with McLaren. Ricciardo said the outing at Interlagos was “fun” after he moved up from P14 to P11 but admitted he could have defended better in some of his battles.

“I think first and foremost, it was fun,” Ricciardo reflected. “Apparently the race itself was exciting so not just my race but all the way through the field there were battles.

“I had some fun out there. I was happy with some moves I made, but then a little disappointed in some moves that got made on me.  I did well but could have done some things better.

“I went forwards so I can’t complain but I’ll analyse tonight and will be critical of myself and just positioning the car better in some places in battle and try to hold on.”

Ricciardo will start Sunday’s race in P11 while Norris is P7.

Read more: Max Verstappen would have been ‘too slow’ on any tyre in Interlagos sprint