In the round-up: Lando Norris says a less than perfect final lap in qualifying cost him a top five start.
Norris “messed up” at end of qualifying
Norris qualified seventh on the grid for McLaren but is sure a better starting position was possible. “I should have been in fifth place, ahead of Pierre [Gasly] and ahead of Sergio [Perez],” he said.
“I messed up on my last lap. I was down but I think the last two corners I definitely could have improved. I obviously didn’t because I pushed a bit too much into turn 22 and then bottomed out a lot over the exit kerbs.”
Norris, the only driver out of the top 10 who will start the race on soft tyres, said his grid position was “good enough” under the circumstances. “I’m happy to be in Q3, we could have been out like Daniel was but I’m happy enough to be P7.”
Jeddah rewards risk – Leclerc
Charles Leclerc expects a highly demanding 50-lap race around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. As well as being physically demanding, he says the circuit rewards risks in a way other circuits don’t.
“It’s going to be incredibly difficult, especially to stay on it,” said the Ferrari driver. “The risks that you take are a lot rewarding in terms of lap times, which sometimes on tracks it’s not that way, it’s particularly like this here.
“It’s going to be tricky, but our race pace looks strong. So I am optimistic for tomorrow.”
Fundraiser started for Abbie Eaton’s spinal injury recovery
A fundraiser has been set up for Abbie Eaton, who fractured two vertebra after her car lifted suddenly and slammed back down to the ground, going over a sausage kerb at COTA that was later removed.
Eaton’s injury was originally diagnosed as a single fracture but found to be a double one when she underwent treatment for it. The fundraiser states that she will be wearing a neck brace until at least February 2022 and require extensive physical recovery time after that.
“During this time she won’t be able to earn a living from her job as a professional driver and driver coach,” explains the fundraising page, organised by Jamie Stanley. “I wanted to help raise some money for her to help remove the stress of this from her recovery and to help her get the medical treatment needed to hopefully be fit enough for 2022.”
Eaton posted the fundraiser to social media, thanking those who had helped her. “I can’t even begin to explain how overwhelmed I am with the kindness of Jamie and everyone so far. I had deliberated about setting something like this up myself as all my other avenues for help got cut off but I must admit I feel uncomfortable about these sorts of things.
“You guys have already made me breathe a little easier in only a few hours. Thank you all so much.”
Help Abbie Eaton recover from her broken back
No drinks on Jeddah podium
No bubbles will be sprayed on podiums in Jeddah, as at Formula E’s races in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. Although in other middle eastern venues where alcohol is restricted rose water has been sprayed in place of sparkling wine during podium celebrations, Saudi Arabian laws mean that the promotion of anything even resembling alcohol is not permitted and so podium celebrations will be dry.
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