Imola was a whirlwind of a second race for the 2021 season and this time it was all eyes on Mclaren’s Lando Norris.
Norris had a bumpy start to the Imola weekend, and that’s not just a reference to the high curbs of the Emilia Romagna track.
The devastating deletion of his Q3 track time meaning a drop down from a third position start to seventh meant that Norris had some redeeming to do.
The 21-year-old Brit wound up frustrated and determined to showcase his beknown potential in Sunday’s race and just that he did. Acquiring his second podium of his career, Norris made both himself and McLaren proud.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) April 18, 2021
On top of winning his second ever podium, Norris stormed the driver of the day votes with 32.3%.
With a fourth and third position under his belt after just two races of the season, Norris is paving the way for a spectacular 2021.
His incredible comeback at Imola gave himself a chance to prove just how much talent he really has. This has undoubtedly made quite the impression on many of the drivers on the grid including his newest teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.
“Lando got a podium and did a strong race,” he said.
“That is encouraging. I have to forget a little bit of pride and actually have a look at what I can improve.”
Whilst the skillful Ricciardo looks at where to improve, it seems Norris has surpassed this point as his McLaren saw the checkered flag 27.518s before the McLaren of Ricciardo.
This brilliant exhibit by Norris was described by Will Buxton, Formula 1 journalist, as:“completely putting Ricciardo in the shade”.
Not only has Lando made an impression on the drivers and topped the headlines of the motorsport world, but has engraved his success into the mind of McLaren’s team principal Andreas Seidl:
“I think we have seen all weekend, especially in qualifying and the race, that Lando made the next step.”
If the next step is redressing his pace of last season and taking control of the races this season, then Lando Norris is definitely the driver to keep your eyes on.
The results of Bahrain and Italy for the young McLaren Driver have really done the team justice as the team and Norris both sit third in the Constructors’ Championship and the driver’s standings.
If Norris can keep up this next level of driving, his two career podiums are soon to become more as we delve further into the season.