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Lando Norris Reflects on Imola Heartache: One More Lap and a Front Wing Regret

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Lando Norris expresses disappointment over missed opportunity at Emilia Romagna GP, wishing for just one additional lap to clinch the win.

Lando Norris disclosed that looking back, he would have adjusted the front wing setup of his McLaren Formula 1 vehicle to enhance his chances of securing his second win.

Norris crossed the finish line merely 0.7 seconds after Max Verstappen during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix held on Sunday, marking it as the closest race conclusion in 2024.

The McLaren racer demonstrated remarkable speed in the closing laps, cutting down a six-second deficit to less than a second.

Nonetheless, Norris's efforts fell short as Verstappen secured his fifth win of the season.

In a discussion with a handful of journalists, including those from Crash.net at Imola, Norris admitted that, given another chance at the race, he would have altered the front wing setting on his vehicle to improve tyre longevity.

"He suggested removing approximately four sections of the front wing and repeating the process," he mentioned. "As Max pointed out, once the tyres reach a certain condition, there's not much you can do."

"Essentially, our anticipation was for today's weather to be cooler than it actually turned out to be. As a result, we adjusted the car's setup to be more suitable for cooler temperatures rather than for warmth. I believe that decision cost me, leading to the necessity of gradually warming up the tyres and taking extra care of them."

"Had I not taken the action I did, I would have ended up in the same predicament as the rest. Therefore, my sole option was to stick to my strategy. This involved enduring more rounds of intense competition from Charles than I preferred. However, once I maneuvered past the congestion and found my groove again, I started to feel comfortable with the vehicle."

"The tires eventually regained their grip, allowing me to accelerate and feel content. Consequently, my speed was impressive from that point forward, indicating a positive aspect. Having a strong pace during the race is always beneficial. However, when the temperatures rise and the rear tires wear down more, we begin to face significant challenges."

"This is knowledge we possess. Perhaps we might have been more prepared for it. However, I'm satisfied with the result."

Norris believed he was just one lap away from genuinely contending with Verstappen for the front position in the race.

"He fervently hoped for just one additional lap," he continued. "He longed for someone to announce just another lap. The reason was unclear to him. Yet, indeed, he gave his all. He exerted maximum effort to close the gap, catch up, and seize the opportunity.

"However, the moment you close the gap to under two seconds, you begin to experience a decrease in downforce and traction. This causes the tyres to once again overheat."

"I faced some difficulties for a few laps initially, but as soon as I grasped the right way to handle the drive, particularly in the final lap, I was able to catch up. With seven tenths, just another lap might have forced him to guard his position going into Turn 1, potentially leading to an opportunity. Unfortunately, it was a lap too short. It's regrettable, but that's the situation, and we simply had too much trouble at the start of the race."

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