Lando Norris Bruised, But Cleared To Race

2021 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday - Lando Norris (image courtesy McLaren)

A huge crash for McLaren’s Lando Norris in Q3 saw the Brit taken to hospital for precautionary checks, but thankfully there was no major damage, just some bruising, and Norris was cleared to race tomorrow.

In a day of mixed emotions for the team, Daniel Ricciardo put in an impressive performance to qualify in P4 and will start on the second row.

Big Impact For Lando Norris

After a big crash in Q3, Lando Norris was taken to hospital where he was checked over and deemed fit to race.

“First of all, I’m doing good, but I’ve been better! I think just a bit bruised. Obviously, it was quite a big impact and I think my body’s just been thrown around a little bit but I’m good. I’m ready to race tomorrow and I want to get back on track already because it didn’t end the way I wanted it to.

“Everything was going extremely well. Since the first lap in Q1, things were going perfectly and the car was feeling hooked up. I felt confident with the car. It was tricky going out in Q3 because, even on the out-lap, I was saying how wet it was because I was aquaplaning quite a bit. It was just a difficult situation to be in. How much do you want to push? How much do you not? I think, a combination of pushing a bit too much for the weather at that point and aquaplaning a little bit in the middle of Eau Rouge obviously didn’t end too well.

“I feel bad because things were going very well. I think I could have fought for pole position, but I’ve now given the team a lot of work to do. We’ll see where we start tomorrow and try to score as many points as possible. Finally, a big thanks to all the marshals and medical staff for their help and hard work today,” said Norris.

2021 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday - Lando Norris (image courtesy McLaren)
2021 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday – Lando Norris (image courtesy McLaren)

Impressive Performance From Daniel Ricciardo

With all eyes on the wellbeing of his teammate, Aussie Daniel Ricciardo put his car in P4, his best qualifying result since joining McLaren.

“Firstly, I was pleased to see Lando get up and out of the car quickly, and it’s great to hear he’s been cleared to race tomorrow.

“Otherwise, that was a really tricky qualifying session. The weather was changing regularly, which made it difficult to judge the conditions and get the choice of tyre right, but I think we did a great job and obviously I’m really happy with P4, my best start with McLaren. Who knows what the weather will do tomorrow and what’s possible, but hopefully we can score some decent points and maybe get on the podium,” added Ricciardo.

Work To Do For McLaren

For team boss Andreas Seidl it was an up and down day, and the team have their work cut out for them to prepare Lando Norris’ car ahead of the race.

“The most important news today is that Lando is fine. After precautionary checks at the Medical Centre and the hospital, he has been cleared to be back in the car tomorrow. I want to say thanks to the medical team and marshals for all of their help and support today. Currently, we are still assessing the damage to his car. The outcome of those checks will determine whether he can start from the grid or will have to begin the race from the pit-lane. Either way, with the strong performance he has delivered all weekend, the objective for him is very clear: to make ground during the race and score good points.

“Congratulations to Daniel for his best McLaren qualifying performance to date. He and his crew pulled off an excellent result under very difficult conditions, culminating in a great final lap that put him on the second row. Given the confidence he’s shown with the car today, he’s aiming for a great result tomorrow.

“It has been a difficult day and will be a long evening and busy morning for our mechanics in the garage – but we are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting and unpredictable Belgian Grand Prix,” concluded Seidl.

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