WATCH: Lando Norris Nearly Collides With Ricciardo in Hairy Moment at Imola Start

Published 04/20/2021, 8:07 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – McLaren’s Lando Norris and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during practice Miguel Medina/Pool via REUTERS


Lando Norris was the talk of the paddock in Imola. He was having a splendid qualifying before he had his lap time deleted for exceeding the track limits. However, he redeemed himself on Sunday by grabbing an unlikely podium. However, that could have easily ended in heartbreak, not just for him, but the whole team as well.

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Race starts are extremely important to nail for an F1 driver, especially at a track like Imola, where it is so hard to overtake. And Lando almost botched it; he had a wheel spin and came close to hitting his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.

Next up, Lance Stroll passed him for seventh place down to Turn 1, but not before coming in contact with Lando’s car. This left the Briton very nervous as he was frantically asking his race engineer to check for any damage. Fortunately, it did not prove to be significant in the end.

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Thereafter, the McLaren driver drove superbly to take third place, behind the likes of Verstappen and Hamilton.

Crisis averted!

DIVE DEEPER

Is Lando Norris a Pay Driver in F1?

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Lando Norris has made the step up as ‘a driver and a guy’: Andreas Seidl

Before the season began, there were calls from Zak Brown to Lando Norris to mature as a driver. And from the looks of it, he’s answered his boss’ call. After finishing fourth in the season-opener in Bahrain, he went one better here; not to forget the fact that he is consistently outclassing his race-winning teammate at the moment.

Lando is flying at the moment. He’s definitely made the next step as a driver,” Team Principal Andreas Seidl told Sky Sports F1 after the race.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after finishing first on the podium with second placed, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and third placed, McLaren’s Lando Norris REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“Not just here, you could see already in Bahrain [where Norris finished fourth] and over the winter that he’d made the next step both as a driver and a guy.

“It’s normal that these young guys make these steps – but it’s just great that he’s pulling it off. What he did today was great.”

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The ceiling is very high for Lando Norris’ limitless talent. While he’s already gone a level up this season, we believe that there is still more to come from him. With each Grand Prix weekend, he can begin a unlock a new dimension in his racing artillery.

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Bharat Aggarwal

695 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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