“In a Battle of Wits…” – Ex-F1 Driver Makes a Bold Hamilton Claim About Norris

Published 10/01/2021, 4:51 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race with McLaren’s Lando Norris who finished P7 REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

After securing the first-ever pole position of his Formula 1 career at the Russian GP, Lando Norris failed to convert his pole into victory at the closing stages of the race.


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After overtaking Carlos Sainz on lap 12, the McLaren driver kept the lead for nearly the entire race. Unfortunately, during the closing stages of the race, rain hampered Norris’s first potential victory.

Lando Norris defended his race lead brilliantly from Lewis Hamilton. But with rain getting heavier, the reigning champion and the rest of the grid pitted for intermediate tires. Whereas, the young Brit stayed on hard compounds. Norris tried his best to keep the lead, but eventually, he slipped off the track and finished the race P7.


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Meanwhile, former Renault F1 driver, Jolyon Palmer believes Lando Norris is a match for the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, at the Russian Grand Prix.

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Lando Norris proved he was a match for Lewis Hamilton: Jolyon Palmer

As quoted by the Formula 1 website, Jolyon Palmer, in his column, revealed Lando Norris has showcased his strengths at the Russian GP, despite failing to convert his pole into victory in the dying moments of the race.

“We all know how strong Hamilton is at driving in wet conditions-more often than not, he ends up as the winner. That ended up being the case once more at a slippery Sochi, but it was only a result of Norris not pitting for the intermediate tires,” wrote Jolyon Palmer.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021. McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the sprint qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini.

“Like for like in the conditions, Norris proved he was a match for Hamilton in a battle of wits out front, which is enormously impressive from a driver seeking that first win.”

“Clearly, it was the pit stop which made the difference, and between the top two, this was a team decision, rather than a driver’s decision, which won the race,” concluded Palmer.

We are miles behind Red Bull and Mercedes: Norris

At the last two race weekends at Monza and Sochi, McLaren have displayed a blistering pace to outperform Mercedes and Red Bull. At the Italian GP, Daniel Ricciardo secured his first victory after the 2018 Monaco GP and McLaren’s first victory after the 2012 Brazilian GP. Whereas at the Russian GP, Lando Norris secured his maiden pole position.

Despite that, Norris reckons the Woking-based team is still not on the same level as Mercedes and Red Bull.


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“No, we are miles behind them. It’s difficult because we could have achieved the best result in Formula 1 and I could have won a race,” said Lando Norris after the Russian GP heartbreak.

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021. McLaren’s Lando Norris on the starting grid before the race Pool via REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov.

“And in the end, I was seventh. It’s tough because I feel like I’ve lost something. And it breaks my heart – and not because I’ve done something stupid,” concluded Norris. (Quotes translated via Google)


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Can Lando Norris get the better of Lewis Hamilton next time when they battle it out for a race win? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.



Pingaksh Sharma

292 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.