Lando Norris left disappointed after ‘effing up’ qualifying lap ahead of Emilia Romagna GP

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Lando Norris has been left bitterly disappointed after what could’ve been his best qualifying lap of his career was deleted due to exceeding track limits ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

McLaren’s Norris set a time of one minute 14:454secs on his final run, but it was immediately deleted.

The lap would have put him third fastest behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bull of Sergio Perez, however he will now start seventh on the grid, just behind his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

“I’m pretty disappointed,” said Norris on Sky Sports F1. “Pretty annoyed with myself. I think it was a very good day until then.

“The team did an awesome job. The car really came alive in quail, we made a lot of improvements on Friday, but that one lap I don’t need to make a mistake on I effed it all up.”

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Norris, who topped the timing sheets in the middle part of qualifying, was left ruing what might have been, and had no excuses for his mistakes.

He added: “At the end of the day it’s my mistake and I’ve messed it up but from the outside it looks a lot easier just to stay within the lines than what it is inside.

“When you’re in quail and you’re in Q3 and you have an opportunity to be P2 or P3, to score your best result in qualifying, you’re pushing. And when you’re going at such a high speed in a corner, misjudging it by this amount is, yeah.”

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With a track like Imola, grid position is crucial with the circuit not lending itself to overtaking, with no room for error.

However, Norris remained optimistic that the team is making positive steps forward this season, improving on his ninth-placed start in 2020.

“I’m really happy, not with my job I’ve done, but with the team,” he added. “We didn’t start the weekend well at all.

“We really struggled but we made a lot of improvements and understood a bit more how the car works and how it comes alive and a better operating window.

“That’s one of the things we had to learn from Bahrain, where we struggled, and we changed it this weekend and we’ve done a better job. Just, I didn’t.“

Lewis Hamilton starts on pole position on Sunday, his 99th of his career, as he looks to extend his lead at the top of the championship in his quest for a record-breaking eighth world title.

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