Norris: Leclerc Should’ve Passed Verstappen at Imola F1 Restart

Published 04/19/2021, 6:45 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – McLaren’s Lando Norris in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Max Verstappen finally ended his wretched Italian luck by taking home a win at Imola. However, Lando Norris, who himself was on the podium, reckons that it may well have been the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc that could have won the race.

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He had a heart-stopping moment when he almost spun the car completely when trying to heat up the tires before the race restart. However, he kept his position as race leader as Leclerc decided to slow down instead of overtaking.

Norris was quite baffled that Charles didn’t take his chance to go into the lead.

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He said, “Oh yeah, I had a great view of it. Quite funny actually. I think Charles could have gone past him in my opinion.

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

“At that stage Max was out of control and going left and Charles kind-of just hit the brakes and slowed down and stopped. At some point he has to go past Max because he was facing the barrier for a lot of the corner.”

Earlier in the race, a similar situation took place with Sergio Perez. The Red Bull driver went off in the gravel behind a safety car and was passed by two cars who didn’t receive any sanctions for the move.

Lando Norris believes he would’ve reacted differently to Charles Leclerc

The Briton reckons if he was in Leclerc’s position, he would have gunned it to gain a position on Max. Although he was unsure about the rulings of overtaking behind the safety car, he thinks it would be worth it if it meant a shot at winning.

Formula One F1. Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during the race REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Norris said, “We have to maybe ask the guys in charge what the exact ruling is for going off. (But) I think if I was in P2, I would have gone for it, because you have a chance at winning then. It’s a risk worth it.”

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Irrespective of what he would have done in Leclerc’s shoes, Norris did everything right during his race. The McLaren man displayed brilliant pace all throughout the weekend and even battled his way up, having started in P7 to take home a P3 finish.

Leclerc himself ended the race in an impressive P4. With the way the next generation of drivers are performing, the future of F1 certainly looks bright.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 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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