Lando Norris says Ferrari’s impressive pace in Friday’s F1 practice sessions for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is "not a shock".

Norris finished fourth at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, confirming McLaren as F1’s third-fastest team behind Red Bull and Mercedes.

Ferrari appears to have a significant advantage at Imola as both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz ended both practice sessions inside the top six.

Conversely, McLaren struggled for pace, with Norris ending FP2 only eighth fastest overall.

Assessing Ferrari’s impressive turn of pace at Imola, Norris says it’s not unexpected given how well the SF21 performed through the corners in Bahrain.

"In Bahrain, they were definitely quicker than us in the majority of corners - not all of them - but here they look very quick," Norris told Sky Sports after FP2. "I don't think it's something we didn't expect. Maybe they're a bit quicker than we expected, but we knew some races they'd be ahead and some races we'd be ahead.

"It's Ferrari, if there's one team at the moment that's going to make a big improvement somewhere it's them. So it's not a surprise. Maybe that little bit faster than we anticipated, but not a shock."

McLaren struggled for pace at Imola last year, trailing Renault, AlphaTauri and Racing Point on pure performance.

Norris admits McLaren expected to be less competitive than it was in Bahrain.

"It's not settled down to this track as easily as it did to Bahrain," Norris added. "It's a little bit harder, but it's kind of what we expected from what we knew from last year. We struggled a little bit more here comparing to Bahrain too, but just some tracks the car goes better on.

"This is one of the ones we knew was going to be a bit tougher for us. But we made some good improvements from FP1 to FP2 so hopefully into tomorrow we can make another little step."



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