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
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021