Lando Norris says he “let everyone down” after running wide on his final flying lap, potentially costing him third place on the grid for Sunday’s Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
The McLaren driver qualified second behind Lewis Hamilton, but his time was then deleted for exceeding track limits, bumping him down to seventh place.
Replays show he ran wide by a tiny fraction, gaining very little time. Had his time stood, he would have outqualified Max Verstappen, starting behind Hamilton and Sergio Perez, whose final lap was quicker than Norris’.
“We should have been much higher up and I let everyone down, so pretty disappointed with myself because we were doing a really good job since Friday,” Norris said.
“The car was really good. It was nice to drive, it was obviously fast, but one little mistake and it all goes down the drain. So pretty disappointed but it happens, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Norris backs the strict policing of track limits, insisting he is to blame, not the stewards.
“There is a rule and it is quite simple. You are not allowed to go over it. But when you are going two hundred kilometres an hour, it is quite hard to judge literally this much. It is not as easy as it might look on TV.
“Without track limits the racing would be awful,” he added. “There would be no rules so they are there for a good reason.
“I do not feel like they have had me over, it is the same for everyone else. It is just that I went wider than everyone else. Simple as that, I made a mistake. I should be a lot higher up than I am.”
Looking ahead to Sunday, the British driver expects a hard time overtaking at what is a narrower circuit with fewer overtaking opportunities than in Bahrain.
“It is definitely going to be a lot more difficult than Bahrain. I guess that is why it is a bit more annoying because here it is a lot about qualifying. And then just staying in that position for the race.
“We will do our best, we will try and overtake and try some different things to come through. We deserve to be a little bit higher, but we were not. We have a chance to go forwards but it is going to be very difficult.”