Hamilton hails “amazing job” by Norris after near-win

2021 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton praised Lando Norris after the McLaren driver came within three laps of winning the Russian Grand Prix.

Norris led the majority of the race but spun off after deciding not to pit for slick tyres as rain began to fall during the final laps. Hamilton took the lead from him and went on to win while Norris slipped to seventh at the flag.

Hamilton doubted he would have been able to pass Norris if it hadn’t rained. “It would have been tough to have got past Lando,” he admitted. “He had great pace, he did the fastest lap. So it would’ve been tough to have got past unless we caught some traffic or something or he made a mistake, which he’s not been doing at all.”

“Lando did such an amazing job,” said Hamilton. “He had incredible pace, he’s doing such a great job for McLaren.

“It was very bittersweet, obviously, to see my old team ahead, them doing so well. Obviously they won the last race so they’re doing fantastic, obviously powered by Mercedes. So it’s good to see them united again.”

Hamilton was reluctant at first to pit for intermediate tyres, but eventually came in. “The team made a great call right at the end,” he admitted. “I didn’t want to let Lando go and of course, I didn’t know what the weather was doing.

“But I’m incredibly, incredibly grateful to all these men and women that are here and back in the factory.”

The Mercedes driver was relieved by the result after a disappointing qualifying session in which he hit the pit wall and ended up fourth on the grid.

“Going to bed last night obviously I was not the happiest with the job that I did yesterday,” he said. “I watched the replay over and over again and there was subtle, subtle mistakes, but just not ideal.

“I was so determined when I came in and woke up this morning, I woke up in a bit of pain in my neck but Ange worked on it, she’s been fantastic the last two weeks. I couldn’t have done it without her and I was just determined just to do the best job I could.”

Hamilton narrowly re-took the championship lead after title rival Max Verstappen rose from the back of the grid to finish second. “Max must’ve done a really great job to come up to second from last,” said Hamilton. “So we’ve got our work cut out.”

“There’s nothing I can do about who’s behind me,” he added. “That’s the dream result for Max, naturally, but I’m grateful for the points.”

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2021 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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22 comments on “Hamilton hails “amazing job” by Norris after near-win”

  1. My prediction that I posted here after Monza, that there’d be an Australian Trifecta, almost came through…

    F3 – Jack Dothan – 1st
    F2 – Oscar Piastri – 1st
    F1 – Daniel Richardo – 4th

    Only thing I wonder about Lando is wether his team told him it would rain harder, which is what Merc told Lewis when they called him in. Hopefully Lando will break his duck this year.

    1. Ricciardo was never close to a win, also it’s Doohan and Ricciardo, not Dothan and Richardo.

      1. @wsrgo Well actually Ricciardo suffered two slow pit stops, so the results may have been different if they had been quicker.
        Worry less about spelling and more about what is being said!

        1. @johnrkh everyone except the Mercs and Norris had slow pitstops, Sainz had 2 slow stops and finished in front of Ricciardo.

  2. Lewis seemed tickled pink during his post-race interview. Like he was genuinely happy and relieved compared to his usual (maybe perceived on my end) aloofness when he wins. I think that kind of describes how exciting of a race it was, for us and the drivers.

    1. Hamilton shared a few words with Norris in the sky interview and it seems Mercedes radio was much more insistant on him coming in, than appeared to be the case for Norris who felt he was left with that choice by Mclaren. Both drivers wanted to stay out, but in the end Hamilton was convinced by his pit radio to come.

      of course Hamilton is more relaxed he’s just crossed that hurdle of 100 race wins. Whatever happens for this year’s championship, he’s cemented his place in history.

      There ‘s is absolutely nothing in it. Hamilton still has his engine penalty to come….

      1. I disagree. On the broadcast I clearly heard Norris yelling NO!! to the Team when ordered to pit for slicks. The order to come in was there, Norris decided not to follow.
        At one point I thought HAM had done the same (disobey orders) by not pitting even when the crew was ready with guns and tires, but that could had also been a bluff by the TOTO mafia. ;-)

        1. correction I meant to say Inters not slicks… I would had also yelled NO! if called for Slicks :-)

    2. I think this “Aloofness” you refer to is in your head. Lewis has ALWAYS put thanks to his team ahead of every winning interview. Always.

  3. Lando is super talented but sometimes he acts child-like. That Noooooo when the team called him in for inters was very childish. The excitement to win his first race blinded him from making an obvious and easy decision.

    1. Lando wanted that win, especially after Monza. But, I hope next time he’ll question the team decision, and if the wall insist, do what they say.

      1. They didn’t insist. They asked him. And that’s where the team failed.

        1. yeah, the wall looked amateur asking the driver in such conditions. but hindsight is 20/20.

        2. As I remember, they at least called him twice in the pits. There may have been more messages that weren’t played on TV. In the end you cannot force a driver in, he has to drive in the pits. And if he doesn’t want, he’ll never box.

          I remember a few years ago, people were complaining that pit walls were too powerful and drivers should drive without radio. Today, people are complaining that McLaren pit wall was too weak. I think you can’t please everyone…

    2. @amg44 I’d say naive rather than childish, but it did sound more wishful than properly considered (as in maybe my team knows something I don’t). Hamilton ignored the first ‘box’ and then commented on the following lap that it was getting really tricky and did box, even though he felt it was a wrong decision. So there was also an element of experience in those decisions – essentially knowing when to go against your own instinct and following the team, which must be tough.

  4. Can we get an article showing their respective Pit radio messages? Hamilton vs Norris.

  5. Where is norris penalty?? Why is taking to long?

    1. He couldn’t keep it on the track with those tyres, don’t think it’s penalty worthy.

  6. To be honest, I thought we’d either see Hamilton and Norris racing on slicks to the end with the track not getting worse and both trying to avoid trouble, perhaps with Hamilton risking a pass in the final lap or two (he was visibly being cautious and oscillating between 2 seconds behind and .3 behind on the same lap at times), or one of them going onto inters and trying to chase the other down. Meaning to say, I didn’t expect the rain to worsen either and Norris completely lose all that time on one lap and have to pit. A shame we didn’t see the first scenario, but it was never going to happen when the conditions became too bad.

  7. dont know why HAMILTON keeps talking about other drivers doing an amazing job whenever he is asked a question during post race interviews.

    1. He is truly history’s greatest monster.

  8. Poor Lewis reading all of the different forums today – he really can’t catch a break from some people. ‘I am happy I won despite making mistakes.’ means he is aloof and bigheaded. ‘Thankyou to my whole team’, means he is insincere, aloof and bigheaded. @Max drove well, what an amazing job!’ means he is condescending, aloof and bigheaded. ‘The British fans are amazing, they really help with the atmosphere.’ How dare he pretend to be British, and he is condescending, aloof and bigheaded.

    He’s a guy, with flaws – but is an amazing sportsman – why can’t we applaud that?

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