Lando Norris is suffering from pain when driving that is hampering him at the Styrian Grand Prix, but was unable to diagnose the issue on Friday.
The McLaren driver finished third in Sunday’s season-opening Austrian GP to secure the first podium of his career, but then got off to a bad start to the second weekend at the same venue as he picked up a grid penalty for overtaking under yellow flags. On top of that, Norris says he has been in pain in the car that is both affecting his driving and limiting his track time.
“I’ve been struggling a bit physically with something, I don’t know what, which has been pretty painful,” Norris said. “We’ve had to cut down quite a few of the laps that we were planning to do just to make sure I’m in good condition for tomorrow. So it’s not been ideal, especially coming off from last weekend. Not the best of days to start the weekend, but we have a good plan of how to make it up and have the best plan of attack come Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s just something, don’t know where in my chest, and I hit the brakes and (with) the compression it spikes up massively, so I’m just afraid to brake anywhere! I don’t know what it is — it’s something I have to look into and try and fix for the race.”
Norris said diagnosing the problem is more difficult for the fact it only really flares up when he’s in the car at certain times.
“I feel fine now and walking around but it’s something that when I’m driving just causes me a lot of pain, particularly in the high-speed corners and when I’m braking. I’ve spoken to my specialist and he tried to figure it out but it’s not as obvious as just pointing it out and so on.
“I’ve been on painkillers and whatever but it’s been setting me back a lot today — it’s been pretty frustrating. I’ve not felt confident in the car in terms of pushing it. Hopefully I can get fixed and be ready for the next one.”
Even if Norris sees an improvement on Saturday, he will start three places lower than his final qualifying position as a result of passing cars under yellow flags caused by Nicholas Latifi’s stoppage in first practice on Friday.
“The whole day’s not been quite so smooth as last weekend was. The penalty, I saw the yellow flag, I was on a push lap at the time and two of the other guys were on a slower lap or an out lap. They pulled over to let me past knowing I was on my push lap, and I let off when I saw the yellow flag and I braked, but I just hadn’t completely gone to the same speed as them.
“I did what I had to do in terms of driving cautiously and being prepared to stop and whatever, but I just rolled a bit more speed than what the other guys did and I ended up passing them. The rules are the rules; a bit unfortunate because I let off but I just didn’t do everything I should have done, so a bit of a silly move by me.”