Lando Norris has revealed to receiving an unexpected 21st birthday present courtesy of a slippery Istanbul Park circuit that gave him a chance to try out Formula 1's version of "drift school.”
The Briton declared on Thursday that driving an F1 car would make him “happy enough” on his birthday but the lack of grip on a resurfaced track on Friday led to treacherous conditions that threatened to spoil his day.
Most drivers were left complaining but after the two practice sessions a happy Norris said: “It was a fun day. It was drift school. That was my birthday present. It was nice.
“It’s tricky in an F1 car, a lot of power, a lot of downforce and most laps you’re crapping yourself a bit, especially the high-speed turn eight. It was tricky, but it is also a lot of fun.”
Norris’ team-mate Carlos Sainz said it was the “strangest Friday session I have done in my life” and although he admitted it was “a good challenge” he was astonished by how slow the cars were.
“We were expecting here a 1.22 lap time and this morning we were doing a 1.45 and that shows how tricky it was,” said the Spaniard, who lost part of the first practice session due to an electrical problem
“It was not ideal to lose those laps because it’s a new track for me and tricky conditions. I did turn 8 flat, so it just shows you how quick and amazing these cars would be without this problem we are having on the surface.”
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