Norris capitalised on the strong pace of his McLaren to set the fourth quickest time in qualifying at Monza, having dropped down from third following the first runs of Q3.

The Briton ended up just 0.023s behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and was convinced he had the pace to be at least third on the grid.

“I hate those words, 'very close', because it always makes you feel like you didn't do a good enough job," Norris said after qualifying.

"I'm happy. We're in a much better position than the last weekend and I look forward to the race than a lot more as well. So a nice weekend to bounce back on, a good position so far.

"Missing out on P3 kind of sucks. I would have loved that little bit more, which I think we had in the car today. But I guess I have to try and do it tomorrow.”

McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo admitted he was equally frustrated to qualify fifth, within 0.006s of Norris and just 0.029s shy of former Red Bull stablemate Verstappen.

“I was angry, that was just pure rage,” Ricciardo said of his impressive improvement in the final sector in an interview with Sky Sports.

“Pure rage and wrestling the car. I knew there was time in the last sector, so I knew what I had there.

“But yeah, the first two were just net even. I knew I had to pull something out in the final sector.

“Thought it was enough, I was third for a short moment in time. Then it was fourth, and then fifth.

“That’s probably what hurt the most, I thought I was third. But then Tom [Stallard, Ricciardo’s engineer] told me I was fifth.”