Lando Norris: Anyone doubting Red Bull, Max Verstappen comeback “stupid”

Lando Norris feels it was "stupid" to doubt Max Verstappen and Red Bull's ability to turn things around for qualifying.

(L to R): Third placed Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren in qualifying parc ferme with pole sitter Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull
(L to R): Third placed Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren in qualifying parc ferme…

Lando Norris says anybody who doubted whether Max Verstappen and Red Bull could turnaround their form in time for qualifying is “a bit stupid”.

Verstappen and Red Bull endured a tough start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend as the three-time world champion struggled with his RB20 car throughout both practice sessions on Friday, as well as final practice on Saturday morning.

The Dutchman did not top any session heading into qualifying but managed to turn things around when it mattered most, edging the McLaren duo of Oscar Piastri and Norris to claim a record-tying eighth consecutive pole position.

“I know Max hasn’t had the smoothest weekend but I think if anyone doubting Red Bull or him coming back and doing a good job in qualifying, they’re a bit stupid,” Norris, who missed out on pole by 0.091 seconds and qualified third, said.

“I really expected him to be back on track, annoying to miss out to him once again in qualifying. But we’re close and I think we’re happy as a team.

“We’ve all performed. If we can continue and have strong race pace like we had yesterday and like we had in Miami I think we can have a good race.”

Asked where he ranks this pole compared to his others, Verstappen replied: “In the last couple years it is definitely one of the best I would say, because it's been a while that I felt like, we've been that far off.

“I mean, Singapore, we were off the whole weekend, so that was just a terrible weekend. But here we were also quite far off and then we managed to turn it around. So it must be at least five, six years, I don't really remember being able to turn it around like that.

“We kept on working,” he continued. “Even this morning, it was not good. Just kept on trying to improve the balance of the car, because it was shifting a bit all over the place yesterday and this morning.

“I honestly went into qualifying like 'if we could get top five, I would be happy because this weekend has been really difficult'. There was really no reference going into qualifying.” 

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