Belgian GP: McLaren's Lando Norris cleared to race following checks after scary qualifying crash
Lando Norris crashed at the start of Q3 in his McLaren, and was holding his arm afterwards; The British driver underwent checks in hospital and has been given the green light to return to action in Sunday's race at Spa
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 29/08/21 5:24pm
Lando Norris has been cleared to race in Sunday's Belgian GP after being given the all-clear in precautionary hospital checks after his huge crash in Saturday's Belgian GP qualifying.
In soaking wet Spa conditions, Norris dramatically lost control of his McLaren through the high-speed, uphill Eau Rouge section at the start of Q3, before spinning and shunting heavily into the barriers.
The young British driver thankfully avoided serious injury and jumped out of his car unaided, but was holding his arm as he got in the medical car.
McLaren confirmed later on Saturday that he would be having an X-ray on his elbow.
After Norris underwent the checks at a local hospital, McLaren tweeted: "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."
Speaking earlier on immediately after qualifying, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl told Sky Sports F1: "The most important thing is he's basically OK and he was in somehow good spirits again when he left the medical centre on his way to the hospital.
"He has precautionary checks now which they always do after such impacts, his elbow was hurting a bit so they're checking that in more detail, but hopefully he's fine."
An on-form Norris was setting the pace in qualifying before his crash, on top of the timesheets in Q1 and Q2.
"Sorry boys, we should have had a good one there," he said on team radio after his big shunt. "I let you down. My bad."
Sebastian Vettel was the first driver on the scene after Norris crash, sportingly stopping his car next to the 21-year-old to check he was OK. Moments prior, the four-time world champion had said on team radio that he felt the conditions - heavy rain had started to fall again before Q3 - were bad enough for the session to be red-flagged.
After the crash, an angry Vettel then said to his Aston Martin team: "What the **** did I say? What did I say. Red Flag. Unnecessary."
Speaking to Sky F1 afterwards, Vettel voiced his frustration about not being listened to and insisted Q3 should never have started in those conditions. It took 40 minutes for qualifying to resume after Norris' shunt.
"I think the truth is that the session should not have started at all," said Vettel. "There's plenty of things that could have been done better but I think it's better to be safe one too many times than one too little.
"It's good that nothing happened, that's the main news, but it could have been a different outcome for Lando and I'm not sure there's anything he could have done.
"We delayed the session at the beginning when there was less water so I'm don't entirely understand why we just didn't start the session. The main thing is it doesn't happen again."