McLaren driver Lando Norris says he took a risk in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, the 15th round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.
Norris will start from first place after a disastrous qualifying session for the Mercedes team, whose drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will start from fourth and seventh, respectively.
McLaren benefited from improved track conditions, which allowed Norris to snatch pole position for the first time in his career on soft tires.
Norris said: “My happiness is indescribable after this result in a chaotic qualifying session, but everything went well for us, and the decision to use soft tires was the right one.”
He continued, “No one expects to qualify first until that is done, and I am very happy with this result, and my thanks go to the team for all their efforts.”
He added, “To be honest, after installing the soft tires, I wasn’t sure that the decision was correct, but it was, and although I was slow in the first two laps, the tires were still very hot in the last lap.”
He continued: “I took a little risk, but this kind of risk results in a positive result, and this is what happened with us today, although I was unlikely that this round would be positive for us.”
“Now we have to analyze the other teams’ data because the race will be another topic, especially with Hamilton in the second row, but I won’t give up easily from my position, and I think we will celebrate again tomorrow,” Norris concluded.