Norris joins Fittipaldi on back row for Sakhir GP

Date published: December 6 2020 - Mark Scott

Lando Norris, McLaren

Lando Norris has become the second driver forced to drop to the back of the grid at the Sakhir Grand Prix due to engine penalties.

McLaren have changed Norris’ engine and turbo as a precaution after the garage spotted a problem with his car on Saturday and, because he has gone over his season limit before penalties are applied, he drops to the back row of the grid in P19 alongside Haas debutant Pietro Fittipaldi, who also has engine penalties.

Norris’ slide down the grid means Kevin Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi, Jack Aitken and Kimi Raikkonen all move up one position.

Although the British driver now has a fresh engine to work with for the final two races of the year, he now has a big job on his hands to rise up through the order on this unique short and sweet circuit on the Outer Track in Sakhir.

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Norris heads into the race P7 in the Drivers’ Championship with 86 points to his name and representing McLaren who currently occupy the P3 spot in the Constructors’ Championship.

The second-year Formula 1 driver was left bemoaning his qualifying display as he headed out in Q2 due to a couple of aborted hot laps.

“It needs to be a weekend when I don’t make any mistakes and today I made one – or WE made one a little bit,” said Norris, who had voiced his feelings over the team radio.

“I think we went out at the wrong time. To make up for that I had to do a very slow out-lap, which ended up being too slow and the tyres going out of the right window which meant they weren’t in for turn one.

“It was just a messy run, which was a little bit on my behalf and a little bit as the team. But I still got a lap and the second one was on me and I didn’t do a good enough job then, so I was a bit frustrated by that and annoyed with myself.

“It’s the first big mistake I’ve made all year in terms of qualifying so I’m not happy about that, but it happens sometimes and I just need to do a better one tomorrow.”

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