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Norris reveals what key thing he needed after narrowly missing out on Imola victory

The British driver finished seven tenths of a second behind Verstappen to secure a P2 result for McLaren

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Lando Norris has revealed that he needed just “one or two more laps” to get past Verstappen after he agonisingly missed out on victory at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. 

Lando Norris, McLaren
Norris hunting down Verstappen at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Credit: Joe Portlock – Formula 1 / via Getty Images

Norris was out-qualified by both his team-mate Oscar Piastri and Verstappen as he was set to start the race at Imola from P3 on the grid.

However, due to Piastri’s three-place grid penalty for impeding Kevin Magnussen in Q1 of qualifying, the Aussie would move down the order to fifth and Norris would line up on the front row.

As the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix got underway, Verstappen was able to maintain the lead of the race of the starting line.

Despite it looking likely that the Dutchman was on his way to another victory in 2024, Norris was able to make it a very nervy final few laps for the world champion as he continued to chase him down.

The McLaren driver ramped up his pace on older tyres compared to Red Bull man in the hope of claiming back-to-back wins in the sport. However, despite his best efforts, Norris narrowly missed out on another race win, finishing only 0.725s behind Verstappen.

Oh so close for Norris

Speaking to after the race, Norris was disappointed after losing out to Verstappen as he stated that he only needed another lap or two to get ahead of him.

“It hurts me to say but one or two more laps and I think I would have had him. It’s tough… a shame,” said Norris.

“I fought hard right until the very last lap, but I just lost out a little bit too much to Max in the beginning. He was much better in the first stint and obviously in the second stint we were stronger.”

“It was a tough first half and a much better second half. One or two more laps would have been beautiful, but just not today.”

Norris also believes that after McLaren’s past two results in Miami and now Imola that the team can compete with both Red Bull and Ferrari.

“I think we are at a point now where we can happily say we are in a position with Ferrari and Red Bull.”

“It’s what we have to get used to, but the team are doing a good job. I think we’re all doing a very good job, so it’s business as usual. It’s focusing on doing the same things, it’s just we’re fighting for first or second now.”

“It’s still a surprise to say it’s frustrating not to win, but after last weekend and the improvements we made it’s what we should start to expect.”

Feature Image Credit: (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)

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