In a thrilling Austin Sprint, Lando Norris narrowly missed the podium, wishing the race had extended just one more lap. The English driver believed he could have overtaken Charles Leclerc, finishing third.
Early Struggles and Promising Pace
Norris's race began with a slight setback when he found himself behind Carlos Sainz immediately after the start.
Benefiting initially from soft tyres, Sainz's Ferrari jumped ahead. However, this advantage was fleeting as Norris soon clawed his way back, reclaiming his fourth-place starting position. Reflecting on the race, Norris said, “It was a good afternoon.
The pace was very strong, it was just a struggle to get past the Ferrari of Carlos”. He further highlighted his car's performance by noting his rapid gain on Leclerc, “I caught Charles quite a bit, like five seconds or something in probably four laps or five laps, so good signs for tomorrow”.
Despite his promising pace, Norris faced challenges in overtaking. He mused, “One more lap I would have had Charles and been on the podium again. Yeah, just a near-miss but, otherwise, good signs”. Strategizing for the U.S.
Grand Prix Looking ahead to the United States Grand Prix, Norris acknowledges the insights gained from the Sprint. The medium tyre emerged as the standout choice during the race, providing key insights for Sunday’s showdown.
Norris, optimistic about going head-to-head with the giants of the track, Mercedes, shared, “I think some questions were answered today, I think there’s still many more tomorrow”. He expressed concerns about tyre degradation, which seemed to affect performance after just a few laps.
“Tyre degradation was still pretty awful, even though we could keep a kind of consistent pace,” he pointed out. Elaborating on the challenges, Norris added, “You do feel like the tyres are finished after only three or four laps, so it’s a struggle.
It’s just difficult to look after everything. Not making mistakes, I guess that’s probably the most difficult thing to do”. Norris remains hopeful and confident about matching the pace of Mercedes, suggesting a gripping race ahead.
As he summed it up, “hopefully we can give them a good battle, but I’m sure Max [Verstappen] will probably be coming through”. With such fierce competition and tantalizing hints at strategy, the Grand Prix promises to be an exhilarating watch.