“F**kin’ hell,” Max Verstappen takes a sigh of relief after ‘working hard’ to defeat Lando Norris for Emilia Romagna GP victory

Lando Norris pulled out a stellar performance during the 63-lap Emilia-Romagna GP.

“F**kin’ hell,” Max Verstappen takes a sigh of relief after ‘working hard’ to defeat Lando Norris for Emilia Romagna GP victory

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen (via IMAGO)

Max Verstappen claimed pole in a hard-fought qualifying session with only a few tenths to spare. This tension transversed into the Imola race day as Lando Norris seemed in the groove and started chasing down the reigning champion. However, the Dutchman breathed a sigh of relief as he crossed the chequered flag first with the finest of margins.

Since the Miami upgrade package, McLaren seemed to be ahead of the Red Bull. On the other hand, with Lando Norris‘s win under his belt, the Brit found unwavering confidence to take the fight to the Austrian giant as he started alongside Max Verstappen on the front row in Imola.

A strategic mayhem ensued between the young pair as the Englishman started to chase down Verstappen’s Red Bull. Furthermore, Norris was within DRS range of the latter and started boasting his prowess on the racetrack.

F**kin' hell, mate. Hard to work for that. Whoo! Oh, anyway, we did a great race, considering how the weekend started, you know. But, uh, hard to work hard for that.
Max Verstappen said on radio after winning the race

With five laps to go, Norris was 1.5 seconds behind the reigning champion but on the final lap, the Dutchman was left sweating inside his RB20 as the former started closing the gap behind him. However, the chequered flag came soon enough for the 26-year-old as he finished a mere 0.725 seconds ahead of his rival and then admitted on the radio that it was a tough race for him, unlike how he likes to win.

Lando Norris received tough competition from Charles Leclerc

Despite McLaren’s superior pace in the Emilia-Romagna GP’s later stages, Ferrari was not far behind. On the other hand, the prancing horses aimed to impress the Tifosi as the outfit started chasing down the McLaren of Norris during the intense 63-lap race.

Charles Leclerc.
Charles Leclerc (via IMAGO)

Subsequently, Norris ranted on the radio about his lack of pace.

Why am I slower than the cars behind? I have no pace.
Lando Norris said over team radio

The Englishman managed enough composure to save his position from the charging Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and also to stay close enough to pounce on the Red Bull of Verstappen. Regardless, the tension soon calmed down as the Monegasque cut across the Variante chicane during the closing stages and gave Norris the much-needed breathing space.

Despite his brilliant charge, the 26-year-old was able to fend off his rival and claim his 59th career victory. But the Brit would be adamant about getting another win soon and would now set his sights on conquering the crown jewel of F1, Monaco, next week.

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