Rapid McLaren repair left Norris nervous in Monaco Qualifying
By Mat Coch
Sunday 28th May, 2023 - 7:35pm
Lando Norris was nervous as he headed out in Qualifying 3 for the Monaco Grand Prix after a brush with the barrier necessitated some rapid repairs.
Norris had tagged the wall at Tabac, damaging his car in the closing moments on Qualifying 2.
The rapid-fire nature of the three-part qualifying session left little time, but the McLaren mechanics got their driver back out on track.
“The guys did a good job,” Norris said when asked by Speedcafe if there was any difference in the car following the clash with the barrier.
“I was surprised the front right held up, the damage was only on the front left, but I hit the wall pretty hard in Tabac as well.
“I questioned it, ‘is everything around the front alright?’ And they said yes.
“I guess it was a little bit nervous, it’s hard to go straight back out and just trust everything’s fine.
“But at the same time, once you’ve done the out lap, you just got to go for it.
“You kind of take a little risk that everything’s together, but I trust the guys, they did a good job, they always do a good job – they had some practice from Saudi when I did the same thing!”
It has been a positive weekend for Norris, who sat comfortably inside the top 10 in all three practice sessions prior to Qualifying.
He always looked set to progress to Qualifying 3 on Saturday afternoon, though suggested a clear lap at the end may have gained him a spot or two above 10th on the grid.
“We’ve looked good all weekend, mains just because I think I got the pace very quickly,” Norris reasoned.
“I felt very comfortable from FP1 already and I think it just takes a few of the drivers a bit longer to get up to speed.
“You wouldn’t say Alpine looked that good until Qualifying, especially Q2, Q3, so you have that, and even AlphaTauri seemed very good in Qualifying.
“So I think we did a very good job all weekend, the team has done a very good job.
“I think we’ve maximised what we’ve had until I f**ked it all up in Qualifying.
“I don’t think we would have been able to pull out a P5 or 6,” he added.
“P8 was probably most likely. Whether it was possible on the last lap with the traffic, or the lap before without a little mistake, then it was possible.”
The Monaco Grand Prix begins at 15:00 local time (23:00 AEST).