Lando Norris feeling the heat to perform at Portuguese GP after Imola podium

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Last time out, Lando Norris snatched a second podium of his Formula 1 career, continuing his strong start to the 2021 season.

Now in his third year at McLaren, the 21-year-old has been impressing so far, out-pacing his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo at the team and currently lying third in the driver’s standings heading into round three at Portimao.

With a fourth place finish in Bahrain and a podium last time out at the Emilia Romagna GP, he has really shown skill and class on track – even holding off the much faster Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the race in Imola.

After admitting ‘he’s just too fast’, Norris eventually had to give up the place in the battle for second position, but managed to hold on quite comfortably to the third slot on the podium.

But with success comes added pressure to perform to your highest level, and the Mclaren driver did reveal he is starting to feel the heat.

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“It does put more pressure on us to continue that and maintain that,” said Norris speaking to Sky Sports F1.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult to do. We’ll try.

“Sometimes you need a little bit of luck, sometimes things have to go very well for you to score podiums and things like that.

“But if we can just do it on success and do it through our own merit, that makes it even sweeter.”

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But speaking after Friday practice, Norris was struggling with balance, and said the team needed to work hard overnight on Saturday to have a fighting chance to make Q3 in qualifying.

“There were a lot of people making mistakes, myself included, so it’s not easy to put it all together,” he explained.

“You don’t have like an obvious one lap where the tyres are good, they last two or three laps here. So yeah, it’s different and it is tricky.

“The car balance also isn’t maybe quite as good as the past few weekends. So we definitely have a bit of work to do to be confident of being in the top 10. And we’re not confident of being inside the top 10, which is important to get into Q3.

“So it’s a bit tougher than we expected and a bit tougher than we want. But, yeah, we have overnight to try and make some improvements for qualifying.”

Lewis Hamilton looks to snatch his 100th career pole position during qualifying in Portugal on Saturday afternoon, which gets underway at 3pm.

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