Norris knew Hamilton had more to lose in Austria start battle

Lando Norris says he knew he could take more risks than Lewis Hamilton when he went around the outside of the world champion at the first corner of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Norris knew Hamilton had more to lose in Austria start battle

After lining up fifth on the grid, Norris moved up one place at the start after Max Verstappen nearly stalled, and then he muscled his way up to third when he went around the outside of Hamilton's Mercedes at the opening corner.

"The first lap was the best bit, I think!" said Norris, who eventually went on to finish sixth. "We've been good on starts as a team, I've just done a couple of mistakes in the past couple of races but in Paul Ricard I did a decent job, not quite good enough, but this weekend I got a good start.

"I got around Turn 1 thinking 'do I run off, do I not', but yeah I had faith in Lewis that he wouldn't do anything silly. The situation he's in I can take more risk than he can. So had a go around the outside of him heading into turn 1, which still wasn't easy."

Norris slipped back behind Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen later in the lap, but was able to then repass the Finn before bringing home more important points for his McLaren team.

"It was a shame I couldn't stay ahead of Lewis, because he was quick on the straights, which was a bit frustrating. But apart from that we did a better job on the opening lap which was nice.

"After that it was more controlling the race, getting past the Alfa, because we know and we're confident that we had good pace, just managing the tyres and trying to make it to the end.

"I know there's more time, more result to come from me than in the first few corners. It's about getting to the end, learning about how to manage the battery and manage the tyres and so on.

"There's more of a gain doing that than trying to get one position in Turn 1 and risking doing something stupid. I think I dropped further back than what I wanted to, but I took the safe option for a good reason. If I want to push, and I need to, I can go forward."

Norris also believed that battling eventual race winner Verstappen later in the race, as the Dutchman began to recover his lost places, was important for helping his team understand its strengths and weaknesses.

"Max struggled to get past me initially, but obviously he went on to win so you can see the pace in the car that they had was a big advantage," he said. "But it still wasn't easy for him to get past on the opening laps.

"It was nice to race them, you can see where they're gaining, and where they're maybe not far away in terms of our pace compared to theirs.

"It was a brief spell competing against guys who are quicker than us, but that's where we want to be eventually, so if we keep working hard we'll see if one day we'll be fighting them off."

shares
comments
Verstappen verdict was not for F1's benefit - Masi

Previous article

Verstappen verdict was not for F1's benefit - Masi

Next article

Timely win could be key for keeping Honda in F1

Timely win could be key for keeping Honda in F1
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021