“I wouldn’t have finished on the podium”– Lando Norris on the tough decision to not challenge Max Verstappen at Imola last week.
Lando Norris had an incredible weekend in Imola, where he bagged his second career podium. In the race, Norris was the only person with red tyres in the leading pack.
Yet he managed to go strong for 29 laps with it and challenged Lewis Hamilton until he could take it; meanwhile, he kept Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari behind him.
While Max Verstappen remained undisputed, Norris had a chance to challenge him during the race restart, but the Brit explained why it would not have been a wise idea.
“This was a big decision I had to make,” Norris said in a social media video. “I’m on the soft because my only chance of overtaking with Leclerc would be at the very start.”
“And on the soft tyre, compared to a medium, they come in a bit quicker. So we made the decision to go onto the soft. I think I could have overtaken Max,” he said. “Especially on like lap two [after the restart].”
But as that lap began, “look after the tyre”, Norris’ team told him on his radio. “I could have overtaken Verstappen, I think,” Norris continued. “Maybe not. I could have at least tried.
“But I wouldn’t have finished on the podium, I think, if I tried, because I would have killed my tyres and I think Leclerc would have got me.”
A good result for McLaren
Norris’ podium has definitely helped McLaren extend their claim for the third position, while Ferrari also eyes that position. Daniel Ricciardo struggled with the car, but a P6 still contributed to McLaren’s scoreboard.
Overall, promoting Norris for this race was a thoughtful decision by the Woking-based team, which eventually paid off.