GLASTONBURY’S Lando Norris believes he could have finished in fourth place at the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix if he did not suffer a puncture on the 49th lap of the race.

Norris ended up finishing in ninth at the Losail International Circuit in a race that saw front-left punctures affect three other drivers – Valtteri Bottas, George Russell, and Nicholas Latifi.

After the race Norris, 22, told Formula 1’s YouTube channel: “I think we deserved a lot more today.

“We could have been P4 at least, without the puncture, so we could have had some good points and a nice result, but we didn’t.”

Speaking to the media, he added: "It just shouldn’t happen. If there’s a wall there or something, it could’ve been much more dangerous.

“You don’t expect the tyre to blow up – especially not on the hard tyre, we weren’t even that far into the stint.

“They should make the tyres better.

“It’s dangerous for us as drivers. We risk a lot every time.

“If we just can’t drive a Formula 1 car around the circuit, then what can you do?"

Bottas’ tyre punctured on lap 33 after he switched to a one-stop strategy to try and recover from a poor start that saw him drop from sixth to 11th.

His Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton won his second Grand Prix in two weeks under the lights in Qatar – his seventh win of the season – to keep the pressure on Max Verstappen, who now leads the Drivers’ World Championship by just eight points.

Verstappen fought back from seventh after receiving a five-place grid penalty before the race for failing to slow down for double-waved yellow flags in qualifying. 

Williams drivers Russell and Latifi were also attempting one-stop strategies to try and finish ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi when their punctures occurred. 

The layout of the circuit, which has been a MotoGP venue since 2004, put the drivers' front-left tyres under the most stress. 

Alpine's Fernando Alonso, who finished in third to secure his first podium since 2012, managed to make a one-stop strategy work. 

Mario Isola, head of racing at Pirelli, said there will be an investigation into the cause of the punctures at the company's Milan headquarters. 

Since 2011, Pirelli have been F1’s sole tyre supplier.

Norris’s McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished in twelfth after “some issues with fuel”.

McLaren’s closest rivals in the Constructors’ Championship, Ferrari, picked up 10 points in Qatar with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finishing in sixth and seventh respectively.

With two races remaining, Ferrari are 39.5 points ahead of the team from Woking in the battle for third.

Norris now sits in fifth in the Drivers’ Championship behind Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas, and Sergio Pérez.