Formula 1: After fire in motorhome: Norris races to pole position

Formula 1: After fire in motorhome: Norris races to pole position
Formula 1: After fire in motorhome: Norris races to pole position

Undeterred by a fire service operation in the McLaren building, Lando Norris takes pole position in Spain. Can he also beat world champion Max Verstappen in the race?

After a fire scare in the McLaren motorhome, Lando Norris raced to pole position in Spain. With a brilliant lap, the Englishman relegated world champion Max Verstappen to second place on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and was delighted with the second pole of his Formula 1 career.

“It was pretty much the perfect lap. But it was still close,” said Norris after his final lap, when he was just 0.020 seconds faster than Verstappen. “I’m very, very happy. I would say that was my best pole position so far.” Norris took his first in Russia in 2021. Lewis Hamilton finished third in the Mercedes.

“The other fire we had was Lando”

“It was an unusual day,” admitted McLaren CEO Zak Brown on Sky TV. “We had a pretty serious fire.” The fire brigade had to be called out and spent hours in the McLaren paddock. “It took hours to put out the fire,” reported Brown. “The other fire we had was Lando on the race track.”

Nico Hülkenberg did not make it into the top ten, as he did recently in Canada and Monaco. The Haas veteran missed the final knockout round in 13th place. “I squeezed everything out, I’m happy with myself and my performance,” said Hülkenberg. But in the end, the pace was lacking.

The McLaren motorhome must be evacuated

A fire service operation had previously caused a stir. McLaren’s motorhome was on fire, producing heavy smoke and a pungent smell. The fire service was called. As the English racing team announced, the team’s accommodation was evacuated in the morning “due to a fire alarm.” “The team was safely evacuated while the local fire service dealt with the problem.” There were no injuries on the McLaren side. The racing team did not provide any further details.

The area around the McLaren headquarters, where team members, guests and drivers are usually entertained, was cordoned off for hours. Police forces were also deployed to secure the area. Shortly before the start of the final training session at 12.30 p.m., an ambulance left the area in question. Large puddles from the fire-fighting operation could be seen in front of the deserted McLaren motorhome.

One of the helpers on site was Pirelli’s motorsport boss Mario Isola. The Italian works in his free time as a volunteer paramedic and ambulance driver in his hometown of Milan. “There may be competition on the asphalt, but otherwise we help each other,” Isola told ORF. He had previously entered the McLaren motorhome with a fire extinguisher to help.

Norris reports on a stressful day

The Pirelli motorhome is located in the paddock right next to the McLaren headquarters. The Italian tire manufacturer’s home was also temporarily evacuated. The two McLaren drivers Norris and Oscar Piastri were then able to step on the gas, apparently unaffected by the shock. Norris took pole position, while Piastri still finished the qualification in tenth place. “It was a pretty stressful day,” admitted Norris.

Formula 1 is contesting the 1111th Grand Prix in its history in Barcelona. After six wins in the first new races, Verstappen is still clearly leading the World Championship standings. The Dutchman has 56 points more than second-placed Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. Verstappen is aiming for his third consecutive victory in Spain this Sunday (3 p.m./Sky).

Source: Stern

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