- Lando Norris [Copyright: McLaren]

Norris chuffed with 'near-perfect' Imola weekend, Seidl says got podium on merit

The British driver was flawless apart from the tiny mistake in qualifying.

3w ago
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Lando Norris was happy with the 'near-perfect' weekend in F1 Imola GP as Andreas Seidl praises his work and notes the podium was on merit.

Norris looked pretty solid all-weekend long in F1 Imola GP. In fact, he almost had a front row spot sealed until track limits stopped his charge by few centimeters. He had to start from seventh, as a result, but didn't disappoint despite tricky conditions.

He was stuck behind McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo early on, but the team took the right call to use team orders and get Norris ahead. It was crucial for the British F1 driver, as incidents later in the grand prix, allowed him to capitalise on track position.

In fact, on red flag re-start, Norris passed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in a crucial move to secure a podium, even though he lost second to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. "On the whole I’m very pleased with myself but the team as well," said Norris in press conference. "I think 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 and we didn't start on the best foot – but we improved a lot. I felt like I did a very good job in qualifying. 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, give myself a good opportunity into Q3 and be pretty close to pole position and then, effectively almost P3 and then get put down to P7.

"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," summed up Norris.

He not only got praises from Hamilton, but also team boss Seidl, who regarded the result as a merit-based one, rather than opportunistic. The German reckoned that Norris showed good pace all-weekend, even though, Friday seemed little off overall.

"I definitely would say so, that it is a deserved podium," said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net. If you look at the two guys that have been in front of us, they are the reference in this sport together with their teams at the moment. Therefore, it is obviously very, very good to finish in P3.

"It's important also to not again get carried away now with this result, if you look at how quickly Max could drive away in this last stint, then you see that we still have a lot of work to do. What was obviously very encouraging to see as well is how Norris is flying at the moment. So two race weekends now in a row where he showed that he definitely made the next step as a drive, so I'm very happy with that," summed up Seidl.

The praise did not stop their as F1 chief Ross Brawn wrote good stuff for Norris in his post-race column too. "I was really impressed with Lando Norris’s performance on Sunday, I thought he had a tremendous race and showed a real fighting spirit," he wrote. "He made a mistake in qualifying and was very hard on himself for letting the McLaren team down, but his response on Sunday was from the very top drawer.

"Importantly, he didn’t let one error lead into a spiral and his performance here and in Bahrain is showing that he’s maturing into a very impressive racer. It was an interesting day in terms of team mate battles. Norris seemed to have the measure of Daniel Ricciardo all weekend," summed up Brawn.

[Image courtesy: McLaren] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]

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