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Norris: F1 Mexico Grand Prix Q1 exit “on me” despite McLaren pit call

Lando Norris has said he takes the full blame for his Q1 exit at Formula 1’s Mexico Grand Prix, despite being told by his team to abort his first run.

Lando Norris, McLaren

Lando Norris, McLaren

Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

The McLaren driver had looked to be a strong contender to challenge for pole position in Mexico City, after showing some impressive form in Friday practice.

But it all went wrong at the start of qualifying when his first banker run on medium tyres was aborted following an instruction from the pitwall.

That left him with everything to do on his final effort, when there would be no margin for error thanks to how compact the entire field has been this weekend.

But after fumbling his lap as he failed to keep things tidy, Norris then was unable to improve after encountering yellow flags for Fernando Alonso’s spun Aston Martin at Turn 1.

And while he was unsure about why his opening lap had been called off, he said he took full responsibility for not having delivered when it mattered in that critical final Q1 run.

“I got told to box for some reason, [but] the pace was good,” Norris told Sky. “Something obviously wasn't right, but that wasn't a problem.

“I just made some mistakes on my one lap that I had. Obviously there was a yellow in the end from Fernando.

“So yeah, that one opportunity, that one lap that I was given, I didn't put it together. It went off and that was it.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Norris explained that there had been no discussion with the team about why he was called into the pits before the end of his first run, but he was clear that even with that he should have got through.

“We turned around and went straight back out,” he said about the moments sat in the garage before that final run.

“We will speak about it after, but I had one lap and I didn't do it. So it is on me.”

Norris’s Q1 exit leaves him provisionally 18th on the grid, thanks to Logan Sargeant losing his lap time for track limits, plus Yuki Tsunoda being set to start from the back of the grid for an engine change.

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