Lando Norris admits he is ‘hurt’

McLaren racing driver Lando Norris has admitted that he is feeling "hurt."

McLaren’s Lando Norris found himself grappling with a mix of disappointment and determination after the Qatar Sprint race.. 

As he watched his teammate, Oscar Piastri, seize his maiden Sprint win at the Losail International Circuit, Norris acknowledged that his own errors had cost him a golden opportunity.

Throughout the 2023 season, Norris has been at the forefront of McLaren’s resurgence, securing second place in four out of the last seven Grand Prix events. 

However, presented with a competitive car in Qatar, he faced a challenging set of circumstances.

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An unfortunate error during Saturday’s Sprint race and a sluggish start in the shortened race placed Norris in third position, trailing behind Piastri and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who secured the world championship title.

In assessing his performance, Norris emphasised that it was his own mistakes that left him feeling disheartened, particularly since he had twice exceeded track limits during Friday’s qualifying session, relegating him to a 10th-place start for the upcoming race.

“It’s never the nicest feeling, but it’s not what hurts me,” Norris remarked. 

“It just hurts me that I’ve messed up this morning, I should be on pole, and should at least be P1 and P2 yesterday for the race tomorrow.”

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He continued, “So I guess it’s just when it counts, this is a weekend when it counts, and I’ve just made too many mistakes. 

“And it just annoys me to such a high level.”

Despite his frustrations, Norris acknowledged Piastri’s strong performance, conceding that his teammate had outperformed him during the weekend.

“But Oscar’s done a better job than me this weekend, and he deserves to be in the position he has done today. 

“I’m starting where I deserve to be because I’ve just done a bad job, you know?”

In contrast to Norris, Piastri is rapidly establishing himself as a rising star in Formula 1. 

The 22-year-old Australian has been living up to the high expectations surrounding his entry into the sport, and his recent performances have only solidified his reputation.

“I was nervous starting from the front,” Piastri admitted, referring to the pre-race jitters. 

“I guess the intrusive thought as you can only go one way, and it’s not forwards.”

However, Piastri’s confidence shone through as he managed to keep Max Verstappen at bay in the closing laps, describing the experience as “pretty comfortable.”

While Piastri faced a brief challenge from George Russell’s Mercedes early in the race, he maintained his composure and ultimately retook the lead. 

Crucially, he conserved enough tire life to fend off Verstappen’s late surge.

READ: Guenther Steiner ’embarrassed’ at 2023 Qatar GP

“We capitalised on the opportunities that we had in the Sprint,” Piastri reflected. 

“Obviously, the guys starting on soft made life difficult for us at the start, but in the end, that’s what gave me the buffer to Max. 

“So yeah, very, very happy.”