Home Sports Lando Norris explains how he held off Lewis Hamilton to finish second in British GP

Lando Norris explains how he held off Lewis Hamilton to finish second in British GP

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Lando Norris explains how he held off Lewis Hamilton to finish second in British GP

Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton went wheel to wheel in post-Safety Car battle for second place; McLaren driver holds off seven-time world champion to finish second in British GP; Hamilton talks about how impressed he was by Norris race craft

Last Updated: 10/07/23 12:42pm

Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton treated the Silverstone crowd to an epic battle, following the safety car

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Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton treated the Silverstone crowd to an epic battle, following the safety car

Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton treated the Silverstone crowd to an epic battle, following the safety car

Lando Norris says a key set-up decision proved crucial in fending off Lewis Hamilton to claim second place at the British GP.

The two British drivers went wheel to wheel in a thrilling battle after a Safety Car restart midway through the race.

Norris found himself at a disadvantage with Hamilton having pitted for the fastest soft tyres when the Safety Car came out while McLaren had put the most durable but slower hard tyres on Norris’ car.

But the 23-year-old showed magnificent defence over two laps to keep the Mercedes behind as the pair ensured two Brits were on the British GP podium for the first time since 1999.

“It was a lot of fun, Lewis was pushing for it,” Norris told Sky Sports F1.

“We were side by side for a lot of it, we were very close around the back.

“I chose a slightly lower downforce [set-up] compared to what [team-mate] Oscar [Piastri] was on just because I thought come a racing situation being that little bit quicker on the straight might save me.

McLaren's Norris was in positive spirits after finishing second in his home race at Silverstone

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McLaren’s Norris was in positive spirits after finishing second in his home race at Silverstone

McLaren’s Norris was in positive spirits after finishing second in his home race at Silverstone

“And when you see that little bit of speed I have on Lewis down the back straight, it saved me.

“I managed to keep P2 because of that. It’s little things that you maybe sometimes don’t know about which you’re very happy you made those decisions.

“We were just extremely quick in the high-speed [corners]. The car was on rails in the high-speed and we were so quick.

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“I managed to gap Lewis in the high-speed every time and then the slow-speed corners would come and he’d be back on me.

“If we could just work on the slow-speed, we have a car that could easily fight for top 10, top five a lot more often.”

Explaining the wheel-to-wheel battle from his side, Hamilton said: “I threw it up the inside into Turn Seven [Luffield] in the hope that finally that was the one, that this is the moment I’m going to make it happen.

“I pressed the overtake button, [so did Norris] so we’re both going down the road with overtake but he had less drag – he said he had the smaller wing and they just started pulling. So I had to back out.”

Highlights from the British GP at Silverstone, as Max Verstappen looked to secure a sixth consecutive race win

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Highlights from the British GP at Silverstone, as Max Verstappen looked to secure a sixth consecutive race win

Highlights from the British GP at Silverstone, as Max Verstappen looked to secure a sixth consecutive race win

Hamilton impressed by Norris’ race craft

Hamilton and Norris’ duel down the old pit straight towards Copse corner evoked memories of his 2021 battle with Max Verstappen which ended in contact and the Red Bull driver crashing into the barriers.

On Sunday, Hamilton and Norris left each other just enough racing room and the seven-time world champion continues to be impressed by his compatriot’s race craft.

“He is very talented, naturally, as you can see and I think it’s great when you can have close battles like that and rely on the driver that you’re competing with to be hard but fair,” Hamilton said.

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the British Grand Prix

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the British Grand Prix

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the British Grand Prix

“And so there was never an element or a moment where we thought we were going to be coming together or anything like that.

“And then that’s what motor racing is all about. As [much as] he wanted to hold on to second I wanted to get that second. But it wasn’t meant to be today.

“So we just get our heads down and keep pushing and hopefully we’ll have some more battles moving forwards.”

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