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zak brown reaction to spanish grand prix qualifying 2024

This is why Brown knew Lando Norris would take pole position in Spain

22 June at 17:53

Since upgrades came at the 2023 British Grand Prix, McLaren have been one of the most consistent teams on the grid. Now, in 2024, they are starting to make it count. Lando Norris' Miami Grand Prix victory showed the potential McLaren have for the 2024 season, and at the Spanish Grand Prix, the Brit was able to out-qualify Max Verstappen to take the second pole position of his career, which McLaren CEO Zak Brown branded as an "awesome lap."

A brilliant lap from Norris meant he was able to pip Verstappen to P1 by +0.020 seconds. His teammate Oscar Piastri was unable to do the same and could only qualify in P10, but a stunning lap from Norris highlighted the title challenge that the papaya-coloured car can bring to the rest of the 2024 season.

Why Brown knew Norris would take pole

Speaking to Sky Sports after qualifying, Brown acknowledged the brilliant lap from Norris, knowing that the Brit had the chance to take pole and give his team the chance of victory in Sunday's race: "That was an awesome lap. I spoke with Lando and Oscar, of course, before they went out, and Lando had the confidence. He thought he could have a shot at pole, of course. It's so competitive. He thought he had a strong chance. That was a great lap. The team put him out at the right time, got a nice little toe into the first sector"

Verstappen was two-tenths clear of the field after the first round of Q3 laps, and the American CEO thought that there was no chance that anyone would be able to find the extra pace required to take pole, but Norris came up with the answer when it mattered: "In the second session, he had a couple of tenths.  I thought, in today's world, that's a huge gap. It was nice seeing the sectors come up with Lando. What a fantastic lap. The weather looks a bit iffy tomorrow. Our race pace is really strong, but anything can happen tomorrow."