Norris cleared to race after qualifying crash

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Norris cleared to race after qualifying crash

Formula 1

Norris cleared to race after qualifying crash

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Lando Norris has been cleared to take part in the Belgian Grand Prix after a being checked out at a nearby hospital following his heavy crash in qualifying.

The McLaren driver was in impressive form from the start of qualifying, setting the fastest time in both Q1 and Q2 in wet conditions and looking a real contender for pole position, but when Q3 started amid heavy rain he crashed at Eau Rouge to bring out the red flag. Both Sebastian Vettel and George Russell had already called for a red flag due to standing water but the latter call came just as Norris crashed, hitting the barriers hard and holding his left arm as he climbed out of the car.

Norris was checked in the circuit medical center and then taken to a local hospital for a precautionary X-ray of his elbow due to pain he was suffering. However, McLaren has now confirmed the British driver is cleared to race on Sunday.

“Precautionary checks were done in the hospital — also on his elbow that was hurting a bit — but everything is good and he’s cleared to be back racing tomorrow, which is great news,” team principal Andreas Seidl said.

Norris will start from a provisional ninth place on the grid following Valtteri Bottas’ grid penalty from Hungary, but any car component changes that are not like-for-like will result in a pit lane start.

“The assessment of the damage is still ongoing,” Seidl added. “And the assessment also of the consequences — what we have to change and what that means with our starting position tomorrow — is still in progress.

“It was obviously a very encouraging start into the qualifying but ‘if’ doesn’t count in the sport we’re in, so I’m not even thinking about pole position at the moment. In the end we lost a car in challenging conditions, the most important thing is that Lando is OK.

“Our full focus is on getting the car ready again for tomorrow and then with knowing Lando is on top form here, knowing that we have a strong car and a strong team, hopefully we still get back into a position to score points with him.”

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