‘I was very wrong by that’ – Lando Norris reveals surprise Ferrari bet

Michelle Foster
Lando Norris being chased by a Ferrari

Lando Norris thought Ferrari would finish '35s' up the road in China

Lando Norris was surprised by his runner-up result at the Chinese Grand Prix, after all, he bet against McLaren as he thought Ferrari would be “35 seconds” up the road.

Although Norris lined up ahead of the Ferraris on the Shanghai grid, such was their pace in the Sprint that he believed it would be only a matter of time before they overtook him in the Grand Prix.

Lando Norris: I was ready to go home early and not be on the podium

In a race for position with Leclerc, and showing better pace than expected as he ran ahead of the Ferrari, McLaren decided to overtake Leclerc and told Norris they believed the Monegasque driver was on a one-stop strategy.

But while Norris had the better of his Ferrari rival, there was a moment 20 laps in when he feared his race had been undone by the timing of a Virtual Safety Car for Valtteri Bottas’ power-less Sauber.

Norris was handed a lifeline when the VSC remained in play for several laps, allowing the driver to also make a ‘free’ pitstop and stay ahead of Leclerc.

As the VSC became a Safety Car that was followed immediately by another, Norris lined up for the second restart P2 in the running order, a position he was able to maintain through to the chequered flag with Sergio Perez unable to close the gap.

It was a pleasant surprise for the Briton.

“I was surprised by many things, the lack of pace from Ferrari today, our good pace, and I guess more us compared to the Red Bull which was so surprising,” he said after the race.

“I just wasn’t expecting that today at all.

“I got everything ready to go home early and not be on the podium so it’s a pleasant surprise, but it shows the team have done a good job. We’re working hard and it’s paying off.”

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Such was Norris’ opinion that Ferrari would get the better of McLaren, he revealed he bet against himself and his team.

“I made a bet about how far behind the Ferraris we would finish today,” he said, “I thought 35 seconds.

“I was very wrong by that. So yeah, I’m happy to be wrong with myself and my own bets.”

“I’m very happy,” he added. “I’m happy for the whole team, they deserved it. Good pitstops, just today worked out.

“I don’t know why, I really wasn’t expecting it to be the kind of race we had today but got comfortable, could manage the tyres a lot which was a much easier task than yesterday, and I could just push.

“The car felt great and felt comfortable. So good day, good points and another podium so very happy.”

Read next: Chinese GP: Max Verstappen shrugs off mid-race chaos to beat Lando Norris in Shanghai