Lando Norris called himself “an idiot” after breaking on top of the kerbs at the Circuit of the Americas in second practice for this weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
The McLaren driver finished the session second fastest behind only Sergio Perez in the Red Bull and ahead of both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, but was still left feeling frustrated with one aspect of his performance behind the wheel.
“That was just me being an idiot, braking on the kerb which you just never do,” the 21-year-old told media after the end of the session. “Rule number one is don’t brake on a kerb, so it was just me being stupid.”
Norris has earned four podiums so far this campaign producing a string of stellar performances at tracks including Monza and Monte-Carlo, and is confident heading into Saturday evening’s qualifying session. “It was a good day in terms of result and pace, not easy to achieve that,” he added. “Difficult because of the wind and the bumps and the conditions, which make it very tricky out there.
“Even with the set-up, the first couple of runs I struggled quite a bit, but the final run we made some changes. Then I was much happier with the car and could push it more and the lap time came easier.
“I think we’re in a good place and I think we can quite easily make some changes into tomorrow to give myself some more confidence, and confidence is lap time a lot of the time. A decent first day and I look forward to the rest.”
The COTA circuit is popular with both drivers and fans, and strategy will be vital this weekend as high tyre degradation gives every team an extra headache.
“There’s a lot of degradation but you can still be fast because everyone is struggling with a similar thing, because of the track temperature, the surface and so on,” the Bristol-born driver explained. “But then I also ran the tyres which I flat-spotted, which makes it feel a lot worse than it is.
“It’s interesting. It will probably make for a good race on Sunday – who can keep their tyres in a good condition?”