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Norris: Feels good heading to Imola as a F1 race winner

lando norris mclaren f1 imola

Lando Norris arrives at a race track for the first time as a Grand Prix winner, the McLaren driver fresh from his memorable victory in Miami will be excused a strut in his step after becoming Formula 1’s 114th winner.

It took 110 GPs for the 24-year-old Englishman to reach that milestone. He will be hoping this is just the start of more top step of the podium celebrations for the McLaren driver, starting with this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The McLaren MCL38 is a strong car, winning the Miami race on merit over the dominant Red Bull’s, Max Verstappen in particular, will be a wake-up call for the World Champions. Imola may even be more suitable for the Papayas.

Previewing the race weekend at Imola, Norris said: “I’m heading to Imola as a race winner, which feels good. It was amazing to walk into the MTC with the trophy and for everyone at the factory to take time out of their day and celebrate together. We’ve been through a lot together over the past six years, and now we want nothing more but to have more moments like this.

“While at MTC I was also back in the sim to prepare with my engineers for this doubleheader. We’re now back to head down, fully focused on the next race and how we can make further improvements.

“It’s been two years since we raced at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, but we’re ready to head back. It’s one of my favourite races and I can’t wait to go racing around this iconic track in front of the awesome fans again,” added Norris, who finished third here in 2022.

Piastri: This is my first Grand Prix in Imola

Stella turned down McLaren Team Principal role in 2018

In the sister McLaren, 23-year-old Australian, Piastri did not race at Imola in his rookie season as the race was cancelled by catastrophic floods throughout the region last year. Hence his first F1 race at the iconic venue.

Piastri said in his preview: “Imola up next! I didn’t get the final result I wanted in Miami, but it was one of my strongest weekends so far. It was great to celebrate with the team last week, but we’re all hungry for more, which shows just how far we’ve come.“

“This is my first Grand Prix in Imola. Sadly we were unable to race there last year, but we are so excited to be back in front of the fans and we’ll hopefully be able to put on a good show for them. I’ve been back with the team in engineering and sim sessions and I feel very prepared. Hopefully, we’ll bring back some good points for the team,” added Piastri.

StatsF1 show a big upswing in McLaren’s fortunes since last year. After six rounds in 2023, they had scored only 17 points on their scorecard and were only good for P6. Norris P11 on 12 points, Piastri P13 with five in the bag.

A year later, they arrive for Round 7, they are P3 in the 2024 F1 Constructors’ standings on 124 points, with Norris P4 in the Drivers’ standings and Piastri P6. That’s a massive 107 points haul different between seasons!

Stella: Norris win doesn’t mean our mission is over

Stella-Norris-Miami-2-2024

The man behind the steady rise-and-rise of McLaren, Andrea Stella heads to his homeland packed with pride for his team: “After a wonderful result in Miami, the team have come together in Woking to celebrate the hard work and dedication that has got us to this point.

“This doesn’t mean our mission is over. This result has served to reinvigorate our goal to be consistently achieving wins and podiums and we double down on our efforts. The team have now reset as we turn our attention to the first European race of the year.

“Imola is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and should offer some good opportunities for us to continue adding to our Championship points. Following the devastation that hit the region last year, we are delighted to be heading back and can’t wait to see the Italian fans once again,” said the McLaren team principal.