The 2019 French Grand Prix produced an exciting finish for the two Mercedes drivers yet again. Not for the first time did one see both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas manage a 1-2 finish, having already showed familiar class on 6 separate occasions earlier. But it was the battle between Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo that grabbed the eyeballs.
With Charles Leclerc grabbing a respectable third whilst his teammate struggled in fifth, the 53-lap contest also showed some strong fight among the midfielders.
Not a race that any McLaren fan would forget anytime soon, 19-year-old youngster Lando Norris grabbed a tenth in the end, a commendable finish, one might say especially given the torrid circumstances in which the Briton drove his first-ever French Grand Prix.
With just around 10 or 11 laps remaining, McLaren’s younger driver was informed over the team radio regarding a hydraulics issue that his car had run into. This eventually meant that the Norris, who began strongly with P5, had no DRS to surpass or defend from drivers anymore.
What was worst was that in hot pursuit of the seventh spot was Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, a driver who was equally committed akin to the car in front, this being Renault’s home Grand Prix.
That said, at a time where there wasn’t much to play for at the front with Hampton sitting well over ten seconds over second-placed Bottas with Leclerc nearly 15-seconds begins, all attention shifted this interesting scrap between promising midfielders.
And it could be said for ten proper laps from the onset of lap 47, Norris began defending from a fast catching Renault of Daniel Ricciardo.
Interestingly, describing this pertinent battle was David Croft who, given his usual panache with words even likened Norris’ drive with that of the rally drivers, the wriggling of that McLaren seeming a bit shark-like, albeit one in troubled waters.
Moreover, social media was quick to offer its validation of a hot and spicy battle that could’ve gone Norris’ way had he not had his car troubles in the closing stages.