Norris would have passed off-track Verstappen on restart

© XPB 

Lando Norris says that contrary to Charles Leclerc, he would have likely overtaken Max Verstappen when the Red Bull driver went off the track prior to the restart of Sunday's Emilia Romagna GP.

Verstappen was briefly caught off guard at the head of the pack as the field prepared for a rolling start after the Safety Car period triggered by the accident involving Valtteri Bottas and George Russell.

The Dutchman lost control in the slippery conditions at Rivazza, getting out of shape and putting three wheels off the track. But Leclerc, who was following the Red Bull, opted to lift to allow his rival to come back in line.

After the race, Leclerc said that he had considered overtaking the sideways Red Bull, but then thought the better of it as Verstappen would have been allowed to reclaim his position at the front of the field before the first safety car line as stipulated by the regulations.

"I considered it at one point, but I at the same time backed off," said the Ferrari driver. "I think looking back at it, it was the right choice because I think he always had one wheel on the track."

Norris however, who was third in line on the restart says he would have likely accelerated past Verstappen had he been in Leclerc's position.

"I had a great view of it – it’s quite funny," said Norris, who finished third at Imola. "I think Charles could’ve gone past, in my opinion.

"At that stage, Max was out of control and going left and Charles can’t just hit the brakes and slow down and stop, at some point he has to go past Max, because he was facing the barrier for a lot of the corner.

"It’s all four wheels off track, but at the same time, Max was going very slow so it’s like Leclerc could’ve driven past him at that point.

"If I was in P2 I think I would’ve gone for it, because you have a chance of winning then. So, it’s a risk [that is] worth it.

"I don’t know, we have to maybe ask the guys in charge what the exact ruling is."

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