Lando Norris will start the Spanish Grand Prix from eleventh, after having his Q3 worthy lap-time deleted for exceeding Turn 12 track limits.
The McLaren F1 Team driver was disappointed after qualifying, especially as his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo starts from ninth at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Norris’ final lap in Q2 was good enough for a spot in the top ten shootout, but later had the time deleted for running “a centimetre” off the circuit.
Track limits are being run extremely strictly this weekend, with anything beyond the white-lines being deemed as beyond track limits.
Fernando Alonso was another driver to fall foul at Turn 12; as a result the Spaniard was eliminated in Q1 at his home Grand Prix.
Had he not exceeded the circuit limits, the young British driver is confident that eighth would’ve been possible, after telling Formula1.com that the team are behind the Alfa Romeo F1 Team.
“P8, I would have said, I think the Alfa Romeos are quite a bit quicker than us,” Norris said after qualifying.
“I was in Q3 anyway by a good two and a half tenths or so. I didn’t gain anywhere near that with the track that I used, the centimetre I used, so P8 maybe, which on a track like Barcelona you would take every day.
“It’s so difficult to overtake, we’re not very fast on the straights. So it’s not going to be easy to get back past many people, so we’ll see. It’s a new opportunity, good strategies for tomorrow so we’ll see what we can do.”
The team would’ve been hoping for both drivers to feature in Q3, especially as McLaren are one of a number of teams to install their first large upgrades package of the season.
To make matters worse, both Haas cars are starting ahead of Norris, despite the American team being yet to introduce an upgrade this season.
The 22-year-old is confident of a good race on Sunday, and that the team have gotten to grips with their upgrades package.
“I think so, I think we’ve understood it more and more,” the McLaren driver continued.
“I think I would still say we’ve taken steps forward. I think we maybe would have been one second off of pole, which is still a lot, but I think it’s a step forward from where we have been.
“So I think there’s a lot of positives, [the] team have done a good job. So to bring the upgrades, especially for both cars, I think it’s helping, at least to get us both into Q3. Hopefully tomorrow we can help even more and can overtake some cars with a better car,” Norris concluded.