Lando Norris has described his performance at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as “near-perfect” after scoring his second Formula 1 career podium.

The only blemish on Norris’ weekend was in Q3 when he ran slightly wide at Turn 9, which invalidated his final lap of qualifying - a lap that was good enough to put him third on the grid.

Starting from seventh, Norris demonstrated great pace in both wet and dry conditions to move up to third place before the red flag period.

The McLaren driver got past Leclerc on the restart but was unable to resist late pressure from a fast-charging Lewis Hamilton, losing second place.

Reflecting on his podium finish at Imola, Norris said: “On the whole I’m very pleased with myself and the team as well. Apart from Q3 it was a pretty perfect weekend I want to say. We improved the car a lot over the first couple of days from Friday into Saturday and through the sessions and so on.

“We didn’t start on the best foot, but we improve a lot. I felt I did a very good job in qualifying, it was the first time I only had to do one run in both Q1 and Q2 so I did good enough laps to save the tyres and give myself a good opportunity into Q3, and be pretty close to pole position, effectively P3 and then get put down to P7. So it was near-perfect from my side and the team’s, I think we did a very good job.

“I was disappointed yesterday so to come back to third today after a pretty eventful race for myself and I’m sure the others as well was rewarding for myself but more importantly the team.”

McLaren opted to put both Norris and Daniel Ricciardo on the soft tyre after the red flag stoppage, while Max Verstappen, the Ferraris and Hamilton continued on the more durable medium tyre.

Norris admits managing the soft tyres was “tough” but applauded McLaren's decision as it allowed him to get ahead of Leclerc.

“It was tough! We made the decision to go on the softs, I wasn’t so confident to get the tyres working and it’s not an easy track to overtake on,” Norris added. “Lewis might say otherwise! But I think it was the right decision.

“Apart from Max’s little moment, I thought Charles was going to drive ahead of Max on the restart as he was off-track so he didn’t take advantage of that, but he had a lot of wheelspin on the restart when Max went, and that’s the fault of the mediums and their decision. So we made that decision to go on the softs, I got a good launch, a good restart and got ahead of him.

“I pretty much started saving the tyres from lap one after the restart knowing that the last couple of laps were going to be pretty tough, and they were.”

 

 

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