Lando Norris reflect on his mini duel with Lewis Hamilton in F1 US GP, as he expands on his opening stint leading the grand prix.
After he lost the lead in F1 US GP, McLaren’s Norris had a mini duel against Mercedes’ Hamilton when he got on his tail in the fight for second. The Mercedes driver didn’t have it that easy but eventually got through him at Turn 1 after a slight move.
Norris tried to cover the inside line but went a bit wide and that allowed Hamilton to get through into the lead. “I enjoyed my battle with everyone. I mean, I had the two Ferraris I had to get by and had a little battle with those two,” said the Mercedes driver.
“And then, yeah, the battle with Lando… He came across at quite an angle. And so, then I had dodge to the right side and then cut back. It was pretty cool. I enjoyed it.” His words were concurred by Norris too who always has fun when battling Hamilton.
“I think it was quite an easy one for him, to be honest,” said Norris. “I mean, it’s always good fun. You know, I felt like I was always in the vulnerable position, the one defending, and just clearly didn’t have the pace at the end of any of the stints. Tyre degradation was just not on par with these two guys.
“And I think both Red Bull and Mercedes, always, not just this weekend pace set the standard of tyre degradation and race pace, and that’s probably our biggest weakness at this current point in time. So it was good fun,” summed up Norris.
Before losing out to Hamilton, Norris made a good start against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to lead F1 US GP for several laps. While a win was a distant thing but the Brit still had his moments. He was undone by degradation which affected his run.
“The battles, controlling the race at the beginning, my start was very good, you know, to get into the lead – that was, let’s say, a podium maker,” said Norris. “I think without that it would have made my race a lot more tough. So a lot of things were great. The pit stops were amazing, again, by the team. So a lot of things were great.
“And that was a good day for us. I think it’s much easier to lead. It’s not often I get to do it, but it’s easier to kind of just control the tyres and look after them and things like that. It comes with the challenge of dictating the pace a little bit and not over-pushing, not under-pushing, but I think it was clear how much quicker Lewis was already, you know.
“As soon as he got past the guys behind. There was a couple of laps where he probably just got the battery back up and things like that and then as soon as he pushed on he was quite a bit quicker. So I think, you know, all weekend, I think we get close in qualifying. I think in qualifying the new tyres mask a lot of our issues.
“But, if you look at the overlays and the GPS of how much time we lose in slow-speed corners, I’m surprised to still be able to race them on a day, so I’m very happy. And yeah, I know I wish for a little bit more when you lead so much of the race, but I didn’t think we could have done much more,” summed up Norris.
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