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Formula 1 Miami GP

Norris: Miami sprint qualifying tumble down to "pushing too hard"

Lando Norris says his tumble from dominating sprint qualifying at Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix to finishing SQ3 just ninth was because he “pushed too hard” early on his final lap.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Norris had led SQ1 and SQ2 in his massively upgraded McLaren in Miami on Friday evening, with his time in the middle segment of sprint qualifying good enough to have beaten eventual session-topper Max Verstappen.

But Norris lost 0.8s to the Red Bull in their respective first sectors on the sole runs in SQ3, which took place with the drivers running soft tyres after they had used mediums throughout SQ1 and SQ2.

Norris’s SQ3 lap featured him catching dramatic oversteer snaps at Turns 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 through the flowing opening sector around the Hard Rock Stadium, ending up 0.831s slower than Verstappen as his handling seemed to improve throughout his final lap.

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When asked what had gone wrong, Norris replied: “I just pushed too hard, as simple as that.

“The car was feeling very good. Just silly to be honest, a couple of mistakes in Turn 1 and a big spiral from there.

“It's a shame, the team has done a good job, the upgrades are working, so I'm happy with everything, just not with one thing.”

Norris also said he hoped to gain places from his ninth-place starting spot for the Miami sprint as his “pace was very good” in the opening track running at this event.

“Probably one of the quickest,” he added of his potential. “So, disappointed with today but I will do my best tomorrow.”

Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

In the other MCL38 – albeit only running half of the new parts his team-mate has – Oscar Piastri said “it was a really tricky session for everybody” and wondered “if the track changed a little bit [in SQ3] or we all thought the soft was going to be a lot better”.

Piastri, who will start three places ahead of his team-mate for the sprint race, continued: “But my lap felt pretty terrible and it was P6 so I think everyone must have had a bad run.

“I think Lando did the quickest lap on the whole in SQ2, so a bit strange but I'll take P6."

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On a sweltering weekend in Miami, Piastri is so far unconcerned about McLaren encountering dramatic tyre degradation issues in the sprint event.

“It's gonna be tough for everybody I think, but the tyres seem to be surviving ok, they are just very hot,” the Australian explained.

“Not too concerned, but it could be an exciting sprint. A few cars out of position. Nobody has really had much consistency so it will be exciting tomorrow.”

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