Perhaps their biggest chance came in the qualifying session at Sao Paulo’s Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. After hiding their pace in first practice on Friday, they entered the afternoon with hope of a surprise result. Their patience seemed to be paying off after showing initial signs of having the quickest package, but conditions changed quickly.
Speaking after qualifying, Norris revealed that he felt he had the pace to compete.
“It was great, honestly. The car was amazing, easily quick enough to be quickest today and on pole," Norris said.
“Pretty gutted we had to end it the way it did. I don’t know how to feel about it."
Norris: McLaren came alive
Arriving in Sao Paulo, most of the focus was on the possible battle between Red Bull and Mercedes. This allowed McLaren an opportunity to surprise with little pressure on the team, and it looked for parts of qualifying as though Norris was the driver to beat.
The sudden ending to the session left both McLaren’s frustrated, but Norris was still happy to see his MCL60 be capable of fighting for pole.
“I think the car was amazing," Norris continued. "It came alive a lot in qualifying and easily good enough to be quickest let’s say. Delivering the lap and putting it together in Q3 and everything is a different job. Disappointed, not a lot we could have done.”
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