Lando Norris believes he has the “best seat” to watch the Formula One title showdown after qualifying third in Abu Dhabi – but admits he does not want to cause any controversy as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen vie for the championship.
While Red Bull’s Verstappen stole a march on Hamilton by sealing pole position ahead of the Mercedes with the pair locked on 369.5 points in the standings, Norris put in a fine lap to take third for McLaren.
The 22-year-old will now be aiming for a fifth podium of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit, but he knows he will be playing second fiddle to the title protagonists.
“I’m very excited to see everything unfold. It is a genuine pleasure to be in this position, see everything that has been going on this season between Max and Lewis.
“To watch the battle and the racing, as I have a lot of respect for them, it gives me the prime position for the view tomorrow.
“I am a bit nervous because I want to stay where I am and watch everything unfold over the first few laps or the whole race.
“But I also don’t want to get involved too much as it could cause controversy. I don’t know whether to go for the move, not go for the move, you tell me?”
Norris had not looked like challenging so far up the grid but was ultimately ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez and Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who disappointed down in sixth.
Asked where his lap time came from, Norris added: “I don’t know really! It came already in Q3 run one. I made some improvements, but also a few mistakes.
“Then I just had a clean lap in the end. I went for pole, but it didn’t quite work out as it’s still a little bit off. But no, it was a nice lap to P3. It was a bit of a surprise.”