Spanish GP: Mazepin Suffers Lando Norris’ Wrath After Qualifying Blunder

Published 05/08/2021, 12:28 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during practice Pool via REUTERS/Nacho Doce


It was a rather disappointing qualifying session for Lando Norris, as the Briton could manage only P9 for Sunday’s race. One might wonder a top 10 start, in general, is pretty good for a mid-field team.

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However, only in Norris’s case, he showed brilliant pace throughout the afternoon. And a top five start never seemed too far-fetched for the young lad.

So, what went wrong for the McLaren driver that caused him to post a considerably slow lap time in Q3? Well, Norris revealed that he had to drive on a set of used soft tires on the momentous final run of Q3, all thanks to Nikita Mazepin.

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Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during qualifying REUTERS/Nacho Doce

The Russian rookie caught himself in yet another turmoil, but it was Norris in the receiving end this time around. During the initial Q1 run, Norris was on a flying lap while Mazepin was on an out-lap.

And the two met each other around a cramped turn 14. While the other drivers, who were on an out lap, made way for the fast-approaching McLaren, Mazepin, made a very poor call by picking up his pace right when Norris was looking to get past him.

And this ultimately shattered the Briton’s lap, pushing him outside the top 15 at one point. Hence, to survive Q1, he was forced to use another set of soft tires, which was apparently saved for his final Q3 run.

What did Lando Norris say?

As reported by RaceFans, Lando Norris portrayed a dejected figure following the outing, as he blamed Mazepin for failing to beat the Ferraris and his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.

I feel like it kind of cost me quali today,” he said. “The car was good. I feel like I didn’t do a bad job. I just had one guy who held me up a lot, which meant I had to use my second set of tyres.

When it’s split by thousandths and hundredths and tenths and stuff, you won’t have the opportunity to kind of improve. And you can’t make any mistakes.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – McLaren’s Lando Norris ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea

When you have something like that and you only have one set of tyres to really push on, it definitely cost us today. So it’s a bit annoying because I feel like we could have been fifth, sixth, or something. But it didn’t happen.

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There is still a long way to go in this Grand Prix, with the main race yet to arrive. What’s more, McLaren showed serious pace throughout the practice sessions, and this will most likely keep Norris within the earshot of the two flying Ferraris.

So, can Norris give a stellar comeback in the race and secure what could be his fourth consecutive top-5 finish of this season?

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Charles Leclerc Fumes at Nikita Mazepin During Spanish GP Practice

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Rohit Kumar

763 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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