Lando Norris was flying during the first half of Qualifying, he was showing great confidence with his MCL35M despite the adverse weather conditions.
As the 10 fastest drivers we’re heading out of the pits for Q3, Norris was the first one to attempt a fast lap. Yet, the rain and the slippery track played against him.
Losing control of his challenger, Norris crashed twice at the top of the Eau Rouge/Raidillonat, which is perhaps one of the best corners in Formula One but also the theatre of huge accidents in the past three years.
Indeed, Norris’ collision is the second major incident of the weekend at Eau Rouge, the latest of many more over the course of the past three years. On Friday, a six-car accident in W Series opened up again the debate about the safety standards at the corner.
Following his accident during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, the session was interrupted for forty minutes.
Although the young driver assured the team he was doing okay and managed to get out of the car on his own legs, Norris was seen holding his left arm and elbow as he was led to the medical car.
So glad to see you safely out the car after that one, Lando. 🧡— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 28, 2021
“Lando was checked at the trackside medical centre and then sent to a local hospital for a precautionary x-ray of his elbow”, reports a statement from the team.
Those additional checkups have not highlighted any injuries, with Norris' team boss Andreas Seidl confirming the Briton will be able to race in tomorrow's Grand Prix.
"The checks were done in the hospital, also on his elbow that was hurting a bit. Everything is good, and he’s good to be back racing tomorrow," Seidl told the media on Saturday night.
UPDATE: Following precautionary checks after an accident during qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, Lando Norris has been cleared to compete in the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix by the trackside doctor and FIA medical delegate.— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 28, 2021
Norris made heavy sideways contact with the tyre wall at the top of the Raidillon, the high-speed impact completely destroyed both ends of the cars and bounced him back onto the track.
Given the severity of the damage to Norris' MCL35M, he is likely to require a new chassis and engine, which would force him to start from the pitlane rather than from his ninth position on the grid.
"The assessment of the damage is still ongoing, and the assessment of also the consequences, and what that means in terms of what we have to change, and what that means for example the starting position tomorrow, that's still in progress," Seidl explained.
"I think it was a reasonably heavy impact, but I think we know the safety which is built into these cars and the safety that the track is having, luckily it ended up with just some bruises, probably. And luckily you can go back racing tomorrow.
"The most important thing is Lando is okay, now our focus is on getting the car ready for tomorrow. Knowing that Lando is in top form hopefully we can get back into a position to score points with him."