Lando Norris admitted that he was “very pleased” with his performance at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, as he claimed a second career podium finish in Formula 1.
The McLaren man got over the disappointment of having his final flying lap deleted in qualifying to secure third place on race day, with Norris showing some excellent driving in difficult conditions.
Norris finished the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in fourth and now sits third in the drivers’ championship, behind only Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
Speaking after the race, Norris said: “On the whole I’m very pleased with myself, but the team as well. I think apart from Q3, it was a pretty perfect weekend.”
He continued: “We improved the car a lot over the first couple of days from Friday into Saturday and through the sessions and so on. We didn’t start on the best foot but we improved a lot.
“I feel like I did a very good job in qualifying, it was the first time I only had to do one run in both Q1 and Q2. So I did good enough laps to save the tyres, give myself a good opportunity into Q3 and be pretty close to pole position and then almost P3 and then get down to P7. So was near-perfect from my side and the team’s, I think we did a very good job.”
Norris ran in second for much of the back half of the race following the red flag restart, but ceded the position late on to the charging Hamilton.
Opting to run on the softs rather than the mediums, the 21-year-old kept Hamilton behind for a few laps but was helpless as the Mercedes used DRS to claim the second spot on the podium.
Asked whether going for the softs was the correct decision, Norris added: “It was tough. We made the decision to go on the softs. I wasn’t so confident to get the tyres working it’s not an easy track to overtake on. Lewis might say otherwise.
“But it was, I think, the right decision. Apart from Max’s little moment, I thought Charles was going to drive ahead of Max on the restart as he was off-track. He didn’t take advantage of that but he had a lot of wheelspin on the restart when Max went and that’s the fault of the mediums and their decision.
“So we made a decision to go on the softs. I got a good launch, good restart and got ahead of him. I pretty much started saving the tyres from lap one after the restart, knowing that the last couple of laps were going to be pretty tough. And they were, especially with Lewis at the end.”
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) April 18, 2021