Norris believes “it is going to be close” in F1 Imola GP as he’s promoted to P2 on the grid

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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After his maiden win in Formula One last time out in Miami, Lando Norris entered Imola on a high. The McLarens showed great pace in the Free Practice session alongside the Ferraris.

Norris started Q1 one new soft compound tyres and set a time of 1.15.915, placing him in P5 behind the RB of Tsunoda. He then improved his lap time by 6 tenths in Q2 with a solid 1.15.371, moving him a position into P4.

Entering Q3 Norris managed to find even more pace from the MCL38, with a 1.14.837 putting him P3, only 0.017 slower than his teammate Piastri in P2.

The Australian’s penalty has moved Norris on to the front row for Sunday’s race.

“I mean P3 is not a bad job at all. Yeah, we didn’t attend, both of us, for P1. So, tiny, tiny margins, but I think for us as a team we’ve had a very good day, a very good weekend so far. Oscar [Piastri]’s done a great job. So did Max [Verstappen].”

Norris believes podium is the goal for tomorrow’s race but it will be extremely tight especially with the two Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz right behind him. The Ferraris and McLarens showed similar race pace during FP2.

“Yes, we still need to get used to it, but we’re getting closer. To be ahead of, I say, to be ahead of Ferrari is also a nice result for us, but it’s going to be close, it’s going to be a good race tomorrow.

“Hopefully it’s an exciting one to watch, also an exciting one inside the car, but tough, especially when the lap times are so tight.”

Norris also pointed out how the track is a difficult one to overtake on with only one DRS zone. Strategy and hoping for mistakes from others is key for a good race.

“It’s almost impossible to overtake here, especially when the gaps are so small. You always try to take advantage of other people’s mistakes and struggles. As bad as it sounds, you try to take advantage of those times.”