Revealed: Lando Norris last to leave the paddock in Bahrain

Lando Norris will start the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix from 11th place on the grid.

Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix was somewhat of a disaster for McLaren for the second year in a row on Saturday, with neither Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri making it through to Q3.

Piastri was knocked out in Q1 and will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from 18th place on the grid, while Norris put in a much better set of laps and will start from 11th place.

Norris’ progression from Q1 to Q2 was a tight one, as a bizarre rule saw him progress ahead of Williams’ Logan Sargeant.

Both Norris and Sargeant set a 1:31:652 as their fastest lap in Q1 but because the Brit has posted his lap before the American, Norris scraped through to Q2 while Sargeant was eliminated.

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It then looked as if Norris would progress all the way to Q3, however Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg put in a storming lap right at the end of Q2 to leapfrog the McLaren driver into 10th place, knocking him out in the process.

Starting from P11 gives Norris a genuine chance at scoring points in the race, with his McLaren certainly capable of giving the Alpine of Esteban Ocon and the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg a battle once the race is underway.

Norris’ LN4 Twitter account has revealed that the Brit stayed late after qualifying, with the 23-year-old most likely looking at the data and analysing the best way to come away from the season opener in Bahrain with some points.

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“Lando is the last driver to leave the paddock. He’s doing all he can to have a good race tomorrow,” tweeted the account accompanied by a photo of Norris exiting the paddock in the dark into a nearly empty car park.

Unfortunately for Norris, the MCL60 is nowhere near where he and McLaren would like it to be in terms of competitiveness, with team principal Andrea Stella admitting that the team missed some of their targets heading into the first race of the season.

With upgrades on their way within a couple of months, Norris might have to weather an early storm before he can battle the best on the grid, similar to his experiences last season.