Lando Norris admits McLaren did not expect to outqualify Racing Point for the Austrian Grand Prix as he notched up a career-best fourth on the grid for the 2020 F1 season opener

Norris was the star of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, putting his McLaren onto the second row, only behind the two Mercedes and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Reflecting on his career-best qualifying result, Norris said: “I mean it feels really good. It’s my best one. We weren’t expecting it which makes it even better.


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“We definitely weren't expecting the top six, we thought the pink cars were going to be quite a bit ahead of us because they’ve looked really strong all weekend. I am just quite shocked I guess, I am very happy because as a team we kept focused on ourselves and we took it one step at a time.''

Given the strong pace shown by some of its rivals, Norris says McLaren would have been satisfied with 11th and 12th on the grid let alone a second row start on the grid.

“We knew we had good pace in the car,'' Norris added. “All weekend we’ve been pretty confident but I definitely wasn’t expecting this. We were thinking if we are 11th or 12th or something we can still be reasonably happy because it was looking very close in P3. To end up in P4, my best position, by one or two positions it’s really nice.

“Obviously a very good start to the season for qualifying but as a team, we need to make sure we finish the job tomorrow.''

Norris finished sixth in the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, having run as high as third place in the early stages.