Emilia Romagna GP: Max Verstappen is Wary of Ferrari and McLaren While Lando Norris Aims for Another Victory at Imola - Latest Global News

Emilia Romagna GP: Max Verstappen is Wary of Ferrari and McLaren While Lando Norris Aims for Another Victory at Imola

Max Verstappen says Red Bull has to “do everything 100 percent right” at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to avoid losing to McLaren or Ferrari at Imola.

The Dutchman, seeking his fourth consecutive drivers’ title, was beaten for the second time in six races this season when Lando Norris used his upgraded McLaren to take his first Formula One victory in Miami two weeks ago.

Ferrari was the other team to deny Red Bull a win this season when Carlos Sainz led Charles Leclerc to a one-two at the Australian Grand Prix in March, and the Italian team will be taking its first significant upgrade package of the season to its first European race bring the campaign.

Asked whether it was important for Red Bull to respond to its rivals’ upgrades, Verstappen said: “It’s not about reacting. These things are already planned. It’s not like a team brings upgrades and we say, ‘Oh, we have to put something together.’ It’s already in the pipeline.

“We are happy with that, but of course you have to keep pushing because the teams behind are catching up. As we saw in Miami, if we don’t do everything 100 percent right, they come out on top. We have to try.” Make sure we don’t have too many of these weekends.

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Lando Norris is backing McLaren to win the F1 world title next year and says he wants to challenge one of the best drivers of all time in Verstappen

After Red Bull won all but one of last season’s 22 races, Ferrari appeared poised to push the reigning constructors’ champion closer with a strong start to 2024, but the series of changes McLaren has brought to Miami has the tantalizing prospect of three-way battles for race wins.

“Ferrari has had a major upgrade. It’s hard to know where we will be,” Verstappen continued.

“McLaren has a really big upgrade and we’ll only find out here how good that upgrade will be because it always takes a bit of time to get things under control.”

“It’s about small details that can sometimes make a big difference in lap times, especially on a track like Miami that is sensitive.”

Norris: McLaren is a better fit for Imola than for Miami

After finally claiming his first F1 victory in his 110th Grand Prix, Norris seemed cautiously optimistic about his chances of winning two straight victories.

The Briton insisted that McLaren falls behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the overall Formula 1 hierarchy, but also admitted that he expects the MCL38 to be even more suitable for the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari than the Miami circuit , on which he triumphed.

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Norris tells us what he’s done since winning F1 races, but still believes the McLaren is third in the pecking order

“Of course I celebrated the occasion appropriately,” Norris said on Thursday. “But it’s another weekend so I need to make sure I’m prepared and ready to go.”

“I still think about it a lot, but at the same time, as much as you want to keep it in your head, you have to keep your focus on next weekend, which is this one, and hopefully try to repeat something similar.” .

“I think we are simply better suited to Imola, maybe a bit of an upgrade. Imola has generally been one of our most successful tracks as a team and for me as a driver. That’s what I want to say.”

“I think we have definitely taken a step forward. As far as I know, other teams are also making improvements, so I don’t think we’re outdoing ourselves. I know I’ve given the team a lot of confidence, I’ve said we’re confident we can take a step forward, but I think I’ve made it clear we won’t be there every weekend.

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Check out the 360 ​​degree and bottle camera footage of Norris’ first F1 win at the Miami GP for McLaren

“We need more if we want to challenge Ferrari more consistently, if we want to challenge Red Bull more consistently, but the team is doing a great job. They have taken some good steps and hopefully we have more to offer in the future and that is what we need to beat them more often.”

McLaren should, in theory, be able to get more out of its improvements at Imola, with a return to the traditional format of three practice sessions after only one as Miami hosted a sprint weekend.

In addition, unlike in Miami, both McLarens will drive with the complete upgrade package after Norris’ teammate Oscar Piastri only had to make do with some of the new parts in Florida.

Norris, who was helped by a timely safety car in Miami, says the result has boosted his and the team’s confidence to push Red Bull more often.

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When Norris arrives at the McLaren Technology Center in Woking after his first race win at the Miami GP, he receives a hero’s welcome

“Does challenging her give me more hope? 100 percent,” he added.

“We had an upgrade there, which definitely helped us. I think we still seemed good there, even if we hadn’t had an upgrade I think we still would have been decent, but maybe not quite as fast.”

“I know Max had damage and all that, and people like to take advantage of that, but even before he had damage, we were still a lot faster than him.”

Leclerc is convinced that upgrades are a “step in the right direction”.

As always in Italy, Ferrari will be the main attraction, with upgrades to the SF-24 likely to only increase Tifosi’s expectations.

Ferrari used a day of filming earlier this week to test its new parts for the first time, but Leclerc suggested that only a minimal amount of useful data was obtained at Fiorano.

Despite the lack of certainty, the Monegasque expressed confidence that the changes will bring Ferrari closer to Red Bull.

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Charles Leclerc says there are more opportunities to win races this year

“We tested the upgrade on the simulator and then did a day of filming, but that was mainly for filming purposes,” he said. “We don’t have any real data at the moment, so we’ll have to wait until we do the first few laps here in Imola.”

“I know it’s a big change visually. I would be careful about what you see visually and not get carried away or have false expectations because that wouldn’t be good for us.”

“Of course we believe it is a step in the right direction. It still needs to be confirmed, but I’m confident it is. How much progress there will be remains to be seen.”

Although Ferrari had shown the pace needed to compete with Red Bull in Australia, it suffered from inconsistency as it fell behind in Japan and China due to a lack of speed.

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Karun Chandhok takes a closer look at Lewis Hamilton’s 2021 pole lap ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP

After a more positive weekend in Miami, Sainz hopes Imola is another track where the SF-24 should shine.

“I still think it depends on the track,” said the Spaniard. “I think in Miami the track was better suited to our car and we had really good pace, even if McLaren and Red Bull were maybe half a step ahead.”

“Our car felt normal again, whereas it really didn’t feel good, especially in China. So I think we will be very track dependent and hopefully Imola is one of those good tracks for us and we can put on a good show in front of the crowd that would be an ideal scenario.

“By the way, we need to develop further for tracks like China, because there are certain types of corners where our car is really struggling at the moment, and we need to keep progressing in that sense.”

The Emilia Romagna GP live schedule from Sky Sports F1

Friday, May 17th
8:50 a.m.: F3 practice
10 a.m.: F2 training
12 p.m.: First GP training in Emilia Romagna (meeting starts at 12.30 p.m.)
2:00 p.m.: F3 qualification
2:55 p.m.: F2 qualifying
3:45 p.m.: Second GP training in Emilia Romagna (meeting starts at 4 p.m.)
5:30 p.m.: The F1

Formula 1 will visit Europe for the first time in 2024 with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola

Saturday May 18th
9 a.m.: F3 sprint
11:15 a.m.: Third GP training in Emilia Romagna (meeting starts at 11:30 a.m.)
1:10 p.m.: F2 sprint
2.10 p.m.: Preparation for the Emilia Romagna GP qualifying
3:00 p.m.: Emilia Romagna GP qualification
5:00 p.m.: Ted’s Qualification Notebook
5:30 p.m.: Indy 500 qualifying

Sunday, May 19th
7.30am: F3 feature race
9am: F2 feature race
12:30 p.m.: Grand Prix Sunday: Preparation for the Emilia Romagna GP
4 p.m.: Checkered flag: Reaction of the Emilia Romagna GP
5 p.m.: Ted’s notebook
8:00 p.m.: Indy 500 qualifying

Formula 1 heads to Europe as Imola returns to the calendar after last year’s canceled race. Watch the Emilia Romagna GP this weekend, Sunday’s race takes place at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month membership – no contract, cancel anytime

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