Lando Norris admits he is expecting a tough race day from a provisional ninth on the grid for the Styrian Grand Prix after revealing he hasn’t got to the bottom of chest and back pains he has been suffering in Austria this weekend.

The Briton, who put in a star performance at the Red Bull Ring last weekend to claim a maiden F1 podium, revealed on Friday he has been suffering from back pains, though in the wake of qualifying he said it is more of a an internal medical issue that is affecting his chest too.

Saying the high G-forces are proving particularly troublesome, though the lower impact of the wet conditions meant he was less hampered in qualifying, he admits a dry race day would present a challenge for him.

 

 

“I don’t know what it is, it is not so much my back but something inside,” he said. “When I hit the brakes and cornering I am getting some compression from the G force and it is causing a lot of pain, we are trying to figure out what it is. It is a bit better today, more because I am drugged up slightly but I think it will be a bigger challenge tomorrow.”

Reflecting on qualifying itself, Norris said he was hoping for a better result but was out of position behind a Renault when the circuit was at its best and was unable to go quicker when it mattered.

“Q1 and Q2 weren’t’ too bad, it was just trying to get used to the conditions more than anything but the visibility is the worst bit of it. It’s not how the car is handling but it is the fact you can’t see the car 5 or 10 metres in front of you.

“It is a bit nerve-wracking because you don’t know what’s going to happen but that was a bit of my mistake, I was in the wrong position in Q3. I had some nice clean laps in the beginning and my times were good and I was confident of improving a lot, but then I caught the Renault of Ocon I think and then I couldn’t see the tramlines that the cars ahead create.

“At the Turn 2 kink you get a lot of the puddles forming and rivers across and I couldn’t see where I needed to place my car and I was getting some aquaplane moments and making some mistakes when the track was at its best. Tricky but nice, I haven’t driven a lot in the wet, the only time I really did it was at Hockenheim last year but I DNF’d after a few laps.”

Qualifying sixth on the timesheets, a three-place grid penalty means Norris is set to start from ninth in the race.

 

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