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Lando Norris

Norris 'hurting' after falling short in Verstappen Imola pursuit

Lando Norris closed to within a second of Max Verstappen at Imola but not quite get close enough to the Red Bull driver for the win.

Norris Verstappen Quali Imola
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris believes that he could have passed Max Verstappen for victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with one more lap, and that it "hurts" he did not. 

An otherwise quiet Imola race was livened in the final 10 laps as McLaren's Norris began to carve chunks of time out of Verstappen, making up six seconds to close within DRS range on the final lap.

However, Verstappen held firm to deny Norris a second straight win after Miami last time out, with the Briton firmly believing that he could have passed the Red Bull if the race was a little longer.

"It hurts me to say, but I think with one or two more laps, I think I would have had him," Norris explained.

"It is a shame and I fought hard until the very last lap, but lost out a little bit too much to Max in the beginning, he was much better in the first stint. 

"Obviously in the second stint, we were stronger, but it was a tough first half and much better second-half. 

"One or two more laps would have been beautiful, but just not today."

In finishing less than a second behind Verstappen, Norris banked a fourth podium of the season from seven races, with the result being the third race in a row that Verstappen and Norris have finished one-two, in any order.

Upgrades brought to the McLaren have improved the MCL38's pace, with Norris of the opinion that the team must "get used" to fighting with Red Bull and Ferrari.

"We're at a point now where we can happily say that we're in a position with Ferrari and Red Bull, so it is what we have to get used to," Norris said after a third Imola podium.

"The team are doing a good job and so it is business as usual and it is focusing on doing the same things, but we're just fighting for first or second now. 

"It is still a surprise to say it is frustrating not to win, but after [the] last [race in Miami], and the improvements we've made, it is what we should start to expect."

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