via Reuters

Lando Norris took the pole in the most thrilling qualifying session, or, in this case, Sprint shootout in a long time. While most people thought the pole position was Lewis Hamilton‘s for the taking, Norris’ deleted pole got reinstated, and the young Britton was set to start the race ahead of three multiple champions: Lewis, Fernando Alonso, and Max Verstappen. It was an ideal situation for a newer driver to crumble, and unfortunately, that is what happened.

The grid lined up to go racing in Shanghai after a break of five years. As soon as the lights went off, Hamilton’s experience trumped Norris’, and the former took the lead, while Lando, who went wide, tumbled down to seventh. A loss of six positions wasn’t what the McLaren garage was expecting, but after the Sprint, Lando owned up to his folly, naming reasons for why it happened.

After the race ended, he accepted his mistake. He said, “Yeah, I f*cked up Turn 1, my bad. I just completely lost the car, so apologies. Should have got some more points than that.”


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via Reuters

And in the post-race interview with Lawrence Barreto, Lando named the reasons. He said, “I just lost it. I have got nothing else to say, most trying to keep it on the outside. Just with this tarmac and how ‘crappy’ it is, then I just went a little bit wide and lost the rear.”

But how did he get the position that he lost in Turn 1 of the Shanghai International Circuit?


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F1 expert Karun Chandhok explains how Lando Norris’ pole got reinstated

As explained in the opening sentences of this article, Lando was not the pole man, but a sudden change of stewards’ hearts led to his pole being reinstated, and Lewis had to line second. Despite the inability to convert that pole into even a podium place, it’s intriguing how its validation came about after its removal.

USA Today via Reuters

Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok explained what exactly went down. He said, “But you can hear he’s way off the throttle; he’s really struggling to rejoin the track. And, as Andrea Stella said, it’s actually ended up costing him. That lap is basically a write-off, and then he started his next lap, his final one, three-tenths slower, which was a critical point. So even though he ended up doing a fast lap time by the end, there was no advantage gained. To me, it’s logical. It’s the fair result and the right result.”


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Do you think Lando deserved a race win today? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anmol is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a background in journalism and a passion for motorsports, she brings a unique perspective to her coverage of the world of F1. Anmol's interest in the sport was piqued after watching Lewis Hamilton's interview with David Letterman, and she has been a dedicated follower ever since.
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Edited by

Sheldon Pereira