Track limits at the Emilia Romagna GP have brought Lando Norris undone. With the McLaren driver being relegated down the timesheets during qualifying.
While teammate Daniel Ricciardo appeared to struggle getting comfortable with the car setup, Norris put on his best qualifying run to date. Ranking ahead of much of the field during each of the three sessions.
Q1 and Q2 saw Norris attempt only one run, such was the pace he was managing to get out of the MCL35M. While Norris’ final run during Q3 saw him put it on pole for the briefest of moments. Before his lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 9.
Ultimately, his time would have been good enough to line up third on the gird. However, Norris would have to settle for seventh. One place behind Ricciardo, who after some shaky periods, managed to lock in sixth place.
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 17, 2021
“A disappointing end to qualifying,” Norris said. “I think the whole thing went very well and I was very happy with my laps all the way through. We only did one run in Q1 and Q2, which I think is the first time I’ve ever done that. So things were looking hopeful, but I just overdid it slightly on my final lap, which was a very good lap but just a little bit wide and the lap was taken away. Pretty disappointed, because we could’ve been a lot higher up and in a much better position for tomorrow [Sunday].
“After we struggled yesterday [Friday], we’ve done a lot of work and the feeling in the car was much better today. The team both here and at the factory has done a great job overnight to work on improvements and give us a car that felt quick and was capable of fighting right up there and maybe even for pole. I’m gutted, but there are still a lot of positives to take away from today [Saturday] and hopefully we can convert them into a good result tomorrow.”
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) April 17, 2021
A tightly compacted front half of the pack should make for an exciting opening lap. On a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake on. You can expect tussles to pop up from the get go. With Norris likely to push hard and fast, and the likes of Mercedes’ Valeterri Bottas starting from further back than he is accustomed to.