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How did Norris really fare on his F1 debut?
Eighth on the grid but only 12th in the race - Lando Norris's mood after his Formula 1 debut had a strong air of "could do better". He needn't be disappointed, Australia provided plenty of evidence of what makes this rookie so special
The best in motorsport, in any sport for that matter, put enormous demands on themselves. "Good enough" is never good enough, expectations are sky high and no matter what pressure the outside world can put on them, it's nowhere near as intense as what comes from within an athlete's own head. It's why managing that expectation is central to sustained performance.
So it was no surprise to see Lando Norris, after what was a very accomplished debut grand prix weekend that included a stellar qualifying performance but a shot at a point or two lost to getting stuck behind the long-running Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi, a little downbeat after the race.
OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.
With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...
OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects
OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation
The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza
For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army
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