Former team-mates Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were in good spirits ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, with the duo having shared a comical moment on Thursday in the pre-weekend drivers’ press conference.
The duo were joined in a press conference by Nyck de Vries, Logan Sargeant and Lance Stroll, with Norris and Sainz having sat next to each other.
Sainz and Norris partnered each other at McLaren during 2019 and 2020, with the pair having become good friends during their time together.
They’re often seen playing golf with one another and clearly remain on very good terms, despite Sainz having moved to Ferrari in 2021.
With Norris having previously partnered the Spaniard, the 23-year-old was asked during the press conference whether Sainz was in a “better mood” when competing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, something he revealed he often was.
“Lando, let’s come to you now. Would you agree that he’s in a better mood when he’s at the Spanish Grand Prix?” asked presenter Tom Clarkson.
“Yes. Apart from when I beat him in quali here a few years ago,” joked Norris, whilst having had a cheeky look at Sainz.
“You did,” chirped Sainz.
“I did,” replied Norris.
“Yeah, no a home race is always the most special. Yeah, I mean even being his team-mate was always cool to see how many fans there were for him and so on. So yeah, happy,” concluded Norris.
Following the press conference, Norris endured a disappointing opening day at the seventh round of the 2023 season, with him having finished behind team-mate Oscar Piastri.
The Briton claimed P11 in Free Practice 1 and was ahead of his Australian team-mate; however, Piastri showed much better pace in Free Practice 2.
Piastri claimed P12 in FP2 whilst Norris slumped to P14.
He was at least able to claim 10th in Free Practice 3 on Saturday prior to qualifying, although the track conditions were far from ideal.
A small amount of rain saw the drivers spend the bulk of the session in the pits, with Norris having been the guinea pig for the paddock.
Whilst several drivers attempted laps on the Intermediates, Norris switched to the Softs, before the majority of the paddock followed the McLaren driver in ditching the mixed weather tyre.