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Belgian Grand Prix: Lando Norris says he 'completely destroyed' McLaren floor in Qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps

Lando Norris was outqualified by McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, but was happy to be seventh on Friday after damaging his floor in Q1; watch the Belgian GP Sprint Shootout at 11am on Saturday live on Sky Sports F1, followed by the Sprint at 3:30pm

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Lando Norris has revealed he found qualifying 'a bit more of a struggle than for some of the others'.after picking up damage, and Oscar Piastri says he 'left quite a bit on the table'.

Lando Norris has revealed he "completely destroyed his floor" in Q1 with his trip through the gravel, so was relieved to qualify seventh for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Norris went wide at Turn 16 in Q1 and his engineer initially reported front wing damage. However, the McLaren driver also damaged his floor as he found a way to reach Q2, then Q3.

The 23-year-old is looking to make it a hat-trick of podiums on Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps, after finishing second at Silverstone and the Hungaroring.

"I'm really happy. Frustrated I went off in Q1 and completely destroyed the floor, so I'm happy to have made it to Q3 and only a couple of tenths off what Oscar did," Norris told Sky Sports F1.

"I think he did a good job, his middle sector was very strong. We're very poor in the straights, so there's wins and losses. I'm happy, it could have been a lot worse, I could have been out in Q1, so I'll take P7.

"The whole thing [floor damage]. It can be repaired, I hope. Normally you can repair it. Tape is not going to help, we tried to tape it. [The mechanics] did a good job on getting as much as they can fixed but too much to be competitive today.

"I don't think we're bad. If we had a car that was together and I didn't make a mistake in Q1, I think we could have had a slightly better day. We weren't miles off the guys ahead but I'm happy I got what I did out of it. It's frustrating because it was pretty close between us and some of the others, but hopefully tomorrow we can turn it into a better result."

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Lando Norris goes wide through Turn 16 but carries on despite possible front-wing damage.

Team-mate Oscar Piastri qualified sixth and added: "I felt very comfortable when the conditions were really tricky like that. I think in some ways the track drying up and becoming closer to normal was a hindrance for me.

"I've not done a dry lap around here in an F1 car, so for braking points and stuff like that when offline is wet you never want to brake too late and that's where I left quite a bit on the table, unfortunately."

Hamilton: We have to understand one second loss in middle sector

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Lewis Hamilton was happy with qualifying fourth for Mercedes but says they are still a 'chunk off' Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton qualified fourth, but will start third on Sunday due to Max Verstappen's five-grid place penalty for a fifth gearbox.

Mercedes elected to send their cars out early in each segment of Qualifying and Hamilton says it was a "big guessing game" as the track dried up.

"It was definitely very hectic because it was consistently drying up. It was very slippery at the beginning, difficult to see," said Hamilton.

"I was just maximising because you know every lap is going to be faster than the next lap. That's why we were at the end of the pit lane early each session. The team did a great job in getting us out and quick turnarounds. I was head down, just maximining as much as I could.

"At the end, still a good chunk off Max - pretty impressive. But I'm really happy with the result I've got."

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Lewis Hamilton says the Mercedes has progressed a 'huge amount' this season compared to where they started in Bahrain and the 'hard work' gives him hope the team is going in the right direction.

Asked whether he can find more performance on Saturday, he added: "I have no idea. We will find out. It didn't feel bad today. Generally, it has felt decent. It's just the middle sector we are losing a second, so I have got to study it to figure out where that is, if there is any way with the package we have, whether we can close that.

"We obviously need to work on making some improvements. I will give it everything I've got tomorrow and hopefully the next Qualifying will be as good."

Russell confused by Qualifying struggles

George Russell was on the backfoot for the majority of Qualifying at Spa and ended up eighth, 0.718s behind Hamilton and 1.6s adrift of Verstappen.

Russell used a bigger rear wing than Hamilton, which appeared to be the wrong choice as he lost a lot of time on the straights as the track dried out.

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Sky Sports' Ted Kravitz takes a look at the upgrades Mercedes have made for the Belgian Grand Prix.

"It was a dynamic session but just been off the pace to be honest. I struggled in that session, I don't really know why. I normally love those transitional sessions but with that we were nowhere," he said.

"A bit to try and review and understand. We know qualifying isn't everything around here but definitely would've liked to be higher up the order.

"You'd always love to do more laps to understand the car. It didn't feel too bad, just slow overall so a bit to try and understand. P8 is not a horrendous place to start on Sunday but definitely would've liked to be higher up the order."

Mercedes sent George Russell and Lewis Hamilton out early in each part of Qualifying after being caught out at the Hungaroring
Image: Mercedes sent George Russell and Lewis Hamilton out early in each part of Qualifying after being caught out at the Hungaroring

Sky Sports F1's live Belgian GP schedule

Saturday July 29
8.55am: Formula 3 Sprint Race
10.30am: Belgian GP Sprint Shootout build-up
11am: Belgian GP Sprint Shootout
12.40pm: Formula 2 Sprint Race
2.30pm: Belgian GP Sprint build-up
3.30pm: BELGIAN GP SPRINT
5pm: Ted's Sprint Notebook

Sunday July 30
7.25am: Formula 3 Feature Race
8.55am: Formula 2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday - Belgian GP build-up
2pm: THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag - Belgian GP reaction
5pm: Ted's Notebook

Watch all sessions of the Sprint weekend at Spa live on Sky Sports F1. Stream the Belgian GP and more with NOW.

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