'Stupid mistake' deprives Norris, McLaren front-row start

ABU DHABI -- Lando Norris took the blame for the mistake that cost him several positions on the grid at Sunday's Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The McLaren driver looked capable of setting a time to secure a place alongside or ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the front row, but a slide in Turn 14 cost him time and left him fifth on the grid.

Norris admitted he was to blame for the error and said it was typical of his recent qualifying performances.

"I don't know if it [the lap] was good enough for P1, maybe, but I don't think it would've been P1 -- but I don't care, if you make any mistake in qualifying, when you're fighting for a good position, it's frustrating," Norris said.

"But the thing is, I just make so many mistakes on a Saturday at the minute. Every other lap was some of my best laps. My first lap in Q3 was very strong, it's just one little mistake, I don't know why it happened, I've not done that all weekend.

"Just frustrating, I'm just doing a s--- job on Saturday."

Asked if he was being too harsh on himself, Norris added: "Not at all. I should've been P2, and I end up P5 because of a stupid mistake. I'm too soft on myself."

The McLaren driver was reluctant to shift any of the blame to his car or the team.

"The pace is there, it has been there all weekend since the first lap we did in FP2. I'm confident the team has done a great job, there are a few things we could have done differently in qualifying.

"But it's down to me putting a lap together, and that's something I don't seem very capable of doing on a Saturday at the minute. So it's a shame."