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Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24
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Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP
Analysis

The steering wheel switches that helped Norris battle with Verstappen in late Imola F1 contest

For a race that threatened to tail off into a Max Verstappen walkover, the climax to the Imola Grand Prix came close to making it a Formula 1 classic, as a late charge by Lando Norris came up just short. However, key to the story of the race were some steering wheel adjustments that enabled the McLaren driver to reel in the Red Bull

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If this year’s edition of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix had been held last season, Max Verstappen’s victory from pole position at an Imola circuit notoriously difficult to overtake on would have been a foregone conclusion. Even in races where a Red Bull’s usual prodigious pace had been missed, Verstappen could be expected to control the race from the front lines.

It looked certain to go that way in the first 44 laps at Imola. Verstappen was 7.4 seconds clear of Lando Norris, the McLaren driver struggling for pace on the hard tyres and just about repelling Charles Leclerc’s DRS-assisted overtures for second place. The gap to the front had been growing; not at a particularly rapid rate, but enough for Verstappen to look reasonably secure.

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