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Lando Norris Wouldn’t Have Defeated Max Verstappen Even With Added Couple of Laps; Claims Renowned F1 Journalist

Anirban Aly Mandal

Lando Norris Wouldn’t Have Defeated Max Verstappen Even With Added Couple of Laps; Claims Renowned F1 Journalist

After losing out on his second Grand Prix win to Max Verstappen at the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP, McLaren’s Lando Norris had remarked that a lap or two more would have allowed him to beat the Dutchman to the chequered flag. The gap between the duo as the race concluded was only 0.7 seconds. But, according to BBC’s Andrew Benson, Norris could not have passed Verstappen at any rate.

Speaking on the BBC’s F1: Chequered Flag podcast, Benson explained, “I don’t actually agree with Norris. [Oscar] Piastri spent twenty laps behind a Ferrari that he was much quicker than in the first stint and couldn’t get past.”

The Imola circuit is notorious for being difficult to overtake. The strip of tarmac is narrow and the profile of the circuit makes it very difficult for cars to pass, even if they have a clear pace advantage. Even Red Bull’s Sergio Perez complained how his race was ruined owing to Imola’s inherent nature and track profile. Hence, being on pole was key for Verstappen.

Benson even went on to say that Norris couldn’t have passed the three-time world champion even if they ran another 63 laps of the race. McLaren team principal, Andrea Stella even called Verstappen “lucky” to be on pole, after receiving some help from Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg, as per

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The Emilia Romagna GP could be a season-defining race. Even though Max Verstappen secured the fifth win of his season and extended his lead in the driver’s championship, the signs were ominous for the Dutchman and his team.

Red Bull have become used to winning by a large margin. But their dominance seems to have come to an end. At the 2024 Miami GP, Lando Norris grabbed his maiden F1 win.

He did take advantage of a Safety Car to jump Verstappen to the lead. However, from there onwards he pulled a seven-second gap to the #1 driver. Something no one has done in the ground-effects era.

During the Grand Prix on Sunday, Verstappen did not look in complete control of the race. He pulled a gap to Norris during the opening stint of the race. But, after the pit stops, Norris neutralized the gap to around six seconds.

Then, the last ten laps of the race saw the #4 driver eat away into the Dutchman’s lead rapidly, who seemed to be struggling with rear degradation. Despite being on five laps older tires than Verstappen, Norris cut the gap down to just 0.7 seconds, but Verstappen took the chequered flag to win the race.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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