Emilia Romagna GP: Leclerc Defends Lando Norris After Q3 Lap Time Deletion

Published 04/17/2021, 10:50 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during qualifying REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


There were quite a few impressive results at the end of Saturday’s qualifying at Imola. While Lewis Hamilton and the two Red Bulls will take up the headlines, there were also very impressive performances from two of the infamous ‘Twitch quartet’ drivers. Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris, in particular, were brilliant on the day. In fact, the latter even set the second quickest time in Q3.

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But unfortunately, that was ruled out due to breaching of track limits. Nevertheless, Leclerc did pay homage to his good friend for that epic lap.

Speaking after the qualifying session, Leclerc said, “The guy that was sitting on that chair just before did an incredible lap time.

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“This two centimeters where he went off track doesn’t make him gain any time. So yeah, he’s done a great job at McLaren, he’s really pushing. So, it is going to be a good fight.”

With Norris‘ lap time getting deleted, it pushed the young Briton back down the order. He’ll be starting the race in P7, ahead of Valtteri Bottas of all people, who had a poor Q3 session.

As for Leclerc, the Monegasque yet again displayed exactly why he is considered to be among the best talents on the grid.

Charles Leclerc extracted everything out of the Ferrari SF21

For those who watched Leclerc last year, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Charles yet again put in an incredible lap that will see him start P4 for tomorrow’s race in Imola.

Formula One F1. Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

What makes the result even more impressive is the fact that his teammate Carlos Sainz didn’t even make the top 10. Leclerc’s impressive Saturday result means he gives himself every chance possible to perhaps nick a podium in favor of Ferrari.

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With Norris also displaying amazing pace throughout the day, it should be a great on-track battle to watch. These two have some history of rather spicy on-track battling in the last year or so. It could be seen in Bahrain too, so expect that to continue in Imola as well.

As a team, McLaren are better placed to bag more points with both their drivers in the top 10. However, F1 is an unpredictable sport. Which historic team will come out on top this Sunday? We shall soon find out.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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