Lando Norris reveals Imola regret after ‘praying for one more lap’ in F1 win pursuit

Lando Norris reveals his one regret from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after narrowly missing out on the victory.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula…

Lando Norris has revealed that in hindsight he would have made a significant setup tweak to the front wing on his McLaren F1 car to aid him in his pursuit of his second victory.

Norris finished just 0.7s behind Max Verstappen in Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, making it the tightest finish to a race in 2024.

The McLaren driver showed electric pace in the final laps, reducing a six-second gap to under a second.

However, it was too little, too late for Norris as Verstappen hung on to his fifth victory of the year.

Speaking to select media including at Imola, Norris conceded that if he was to do the race again, he would have adjusted the front wing setting on his car to better preserve the tyres.

“I would probably take out like four holes of front wing and do the same again,” he said. “Like Max said, once the tyres are where they are, you can't actually do a lot.

“So, I mean, we were expecting it to be a little bit colder today than what it was. So we kind of set up the car more for colder conditions rather than hot. And I think I paid the price in general. So that's why I had to do so much of an introduction to the tyres and kind of bring them up so gently and look after them.

“Because if I didn't, I just would have fallen off a cliff like the others did. So my only chance was to drive my race. And that meant being under pressure from Charles for more laps than I would have liked. But as soon as I kind of cleared the traffic and got back into my own rhythm, then I felt good with the car.

“The tyres kind of came back to me and I could push and I was happy. So from then on, the pace was amazing. And so it's a good sign. It's always a good thing to have is good race pace. But clearly when it's hotter and there's more degradation to the rear tyres, we start to struggle a lot more.

“And this is something we know. And maybe we could have prepared for a little bit more. But nevertheless, I'm happy with the outcome.”

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, Race Day.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7,…

Norris felt that he needed only one more lap to seriously challenge Verstappen on track for the race lead.

“I was just praying for one more lap,” he added. “I was just praying for someone to say one more lap. I don't know why. But yeah, I mean, I just did everything I could. I was pushing like hell to get there and catch up and have a chance.

“But as soon as you get within two seconds, you start to lose downforce and grip. The tyres start to overheat again.

“I kind of struggled for a couple laps, but once I understood how I had to drive again, like the last lap I managed to get there, and seven tenths, like one more lap, at least he would have had to defend into Turn 1, and maybe something could have come from that, but one lap too late. It's a shame, but it is what it is, and we just struggled too much in the beginning of the race.”

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