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Norris on cloud nine to score McLaren Imola podium "on merit"

Norris on cloud nine to score McLaren Imola podium "on merit"

F1 News

Norris on cloud nine to score McLaren Imola podium "on merit"

Norris on cloud nine to score McLaren Imola podium "on merit"

Lando Norris was ecstatic to have secured the second podium finish of his Formula 1 career after claiming third in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola "on merit" for McLaren.

Norris was left bitterly disappointed after losing his fastest time in qualifying that denied him third on the grid, instead starting seventh.

But the Briton successfully put this emotion behind him to stand on the podium at the end of a thrilling race.

"I'm happy," said Norris. "I think a nice recovery after yesterday. A long race, a tough one but I didn't start so well. It was a tough start but I came back, I had good pace.

"I tried hanging on to second but Lewis was a bit too quick for me today.

"It's nice to be fighting these guys, to be there on merit and there on pure pace and hopefully we can have some more in the future."

As Hamilton closed in on the McLaren driver in the final laps, Norris reported his clutch was slipping but after the race revealed: "That was just my kneepad was hitting my clutch paddle so it was my own mistake."

A red-flag period caused by heavy contact between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell presented an opportunity for drivers to switch strategy without the pain of making a pit stop.

Whilst others fitted the medium compound tyre, Norris opted to run the soft in a bid to make up early positions and take his pain later.

He explained: "We opted to go on the softs for the restart and I had good pace in the first 10-15 laps but I knew I would struggle a lot towards the end. Especially with Lewis behind me, it was not going to be easy but I tried.

"I held on for two or three or four laps but in the end, I just couldn't hang on but I'm happy with third. I'm not disappointed."

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