Lando Norris has admitted that “it hurt” to watch Oscar Piastri beat him to a first F1 win at the Qatar Grand Prix after the McLaren rookie took victory in the sprint race.
After taking pole position in the sprint shootout, Piastri bounced back from losing the lead at the start to retake the lead from George Russell, withstanding a late threat from newly crowned three-time World Champion Max Verstappen to win the sprint race.
Despite being arguably the quicker of the McLaren drivers in Lusail, Norris has been noticeably error prone this weekend and was visibly upset after being demoted to 10th after Friday qualifying for breaching track limits.
Lando Norris hoping to emulate Oscar Piastri’s success
Norris lost the chance to take pole for the sprint when he ran wide at the final corner of his last lap in SQ3, before falling from second to sixth at the start of the 19-lap race.
The British driver remains without a win in almost five full seasons since arriving on the grid in 2019, with Piastri’s rapid success not lost on him at the end of the sprint.
He said: “First of all, congrats to Oscar and congrats to Max. His first win – earlier than mine – so a big well done to him.
“A tough race for me. A bad start made everything much trickier, but we fought back well – some fun racing, good overtakes all the way until the last lap on George.
“So tough, but another podium for us and for our team it’s been a mega day.”
Asked if his first win could be on the horizon, he replied: “I hope so. I’ve been trying a long time, but Oscar’s done a mega job. He was on pole this weekend.
“I made a lot of the mistakes and he hasn’t and he’s capitalised and he’s done a better job, so just hats off to him.”
Norris went on to elaborate on his emotions in an interview with Sky F1, commenting: “The last two days, they take over everything. I think of the negative things way more than the positive things. It’s just me, it’s not like [it’s] a problem. It’s just the way I think, it’s the way my head works.
“I’m very happy for the team, I’m happy for Oscar. He’s beat me to a win so congrats to him.
“Of course, it’s never the nicest feeling. It hurts me. It just hurts me that I’ve messed up this morning, I should be on pole and should at least be P1 or P2 yesterday for the race tomorrow.
“So I guess it’s just when it counts. This is a weekend when it counts and I just made too many mistakes. It just annoys me to such a high level.
“I try to reset and refocus and not think of it, but it’s impossible for me to not think of it. Just frustrating because it’s just the shoulda, woulda, coulda stuff.
“Oscar’s done a better job than me this weekend and he deserves to be in the position he has done today. I’m starting where I deserve to be because I’ve just done a bad job.
“So it is frustrating, especially when the car is so good and the team have done such a good job to improve so many things and give us these chances to fight for pole and to fight for wins and then just when I don’t deliver on my role it’s frustrating.
Norris has never finished higher than second in F1, a result he has claimed on five occasions in total including four of the last seven races in 2023.
His best shot at victory arguably came at the 2021 Russian GP, where he led from pole position until he and McLaren misjudged the conditions as rain arrived in the closing stages at Sochi and ultimately finished seventh.