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Lando Norris stayed up until 2am before close Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix finish
F1 Sport

Lando Norris stayed up until 2am before close Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix finish

Lando Norris said he was praying for just one more lap to have a shot at victory at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix after a thrilling final fight with Max Verstappen at Imola. The British driver also revealed he had been up the night before the race until 2am, watching the title-fight boxing and the US PGA Championship golf.

Verstappen held on to win at Imola but only after the final laps came alive as Norris hunted him down, closing to within under second and ultimately finishing just 0.725sec behind the world champion. The 24-year-old McLaren driver was convinced that with another lap he would have been able to try to make a pass on Verstappen.

“I was just praying for one more lap. I was just praying for someone to say: ‘One more lap,’” said Norris. “I did everything I could. I was pushing like hell to get there and catch up and have a chance. One more lap at least he would have had to defend into turn one and maybe something could have come from that but one lap too late. It’s a shame.”

Norris and Verstappen are friends and, after what had been an enthralling finish, enjoyed a good-natured exchange as both insisted their form had not been affected by late nights the previous evening.

Verstappen had stayed up to drive some stints in a sim race version of the Nürburgring 24 Hours, which his team won, while both drivers had then continued into the small hours to take in the Tyson Fury versus Oleksandr Usyk fight.

“I stayed up and watched the fight last night, I never sleep much anyway,” said Norris. “I went to bed 2am or something. I didn’t get my 10 or eight hours or whatever it is. I was watching the golf and Indianapolis.”

Norris was an enthusiastic sim racer when younger and said he admired Verstappen’s dedication to it but that, now a keen golfer himself, he was no longer quite so enthused by virtual competition.

“I think I paid the price of doing so much of it and not many other things when I grew up,” he added. “My life was literally racing, sim racing, and then school and I didn’t do anything else. I didn’t do any of this when I was a kid. I never went out with my friends and that kind of stuff. I was a bit of a loner.

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“Now I’m just kind of making up for my lost time, I’m kind of doing other things and enjoying that more than the sim stuff.”

Source: theguardian.com