Norris "risked quite a bit" for surprise Russian GP F1 pole

Lando Norris says he “risked quite a bit” in his final lap to take his maiden Formula 1 pole position in a “manic” qualifying session for the Russian Grand Prix.

Two weeks after its surprise 1-2 finish at Monza, McLaren scored its first pole since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix as Norris topped Q3 with a late run on slick tyres in Sochi.

Norris took pole by over half a second ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz after a switch from intermediate to slick tyres paid off on his final lap of the session.

"It feels amazing, I don't know what to say," Norris said in parc ferme after qualifying. "It was quite a manic session. We were going well, and obviously we made the decision in the end to go slicks.

"You don't think you're going to get a pole until you get it and now I've managed to do it so yeah, extremely happy. Big thanks to the team as well, they've done an amazing job."

Qualifying was able to go ahead after a break in the heavy rain that forced final practice to be abandoned, but the track remained damp until the closing stages of Q3, allowing drivers to make the switch to intermediates.

Norris admitted it was "tough" to keep the car under control in the greasy conditions, but focused on keeping his tyres in the right window for his final lap of the session.

"I'm obviously going to make myself sound good, but it was tricky," Norris said. "It was that crossover section and the lap before I was like, two seconds down, and I wasn't very confident we were going to improve on the previous lap.

"But I kept the tyres warm and prepared the final lap, and I risked quite a bit, I'm going to admit, and it paid off, so I'm a happy boy."

McLaren had been downplaying the chances of it continuing its Monza form in Sochi this weekend, with Norris even noting after taking pole that it was a surprising result to him and the team.

"I guess coming off of Monza this is not something we really expected, but these kinds of conditions are when we can take opportunities," Norris said. "That's exactly what we did today, so especially after Monza, this is an awesome way to start, and hopefully we can continue it again tomorrow."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Russell "almost crashing" in Sochi F1 pits after switch to slicks

Previous article

Russell "almost crashing" in Sochi F1 pits after switch to slicks

Next article

Hamilton feels "terrible" over two F1 crashes in Sochi qualifying

Hamilton feels "terrible" over two F1 crashes in Sochi qualifying
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021