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Lando Norris

How Norris proved he was a match for Hamilton

Despite a disappointing end to his Russian Grand Prix, Jolyon Palmer says Lando Norris showed he can keep pace with Lewis Hamilton.

Norris Hamilton
To news overview © McLaren

Although Lando Norris didn't end up winning the Russian Grand Prix, Jolyon Palmer believes the McLaren driver showed he's more than a match for Lewis Hamilton.

Norris was cruelly denied a first F1 win at the Sochi Autodrom, as a late rain shower saw him lose the lead, having held off Hamilton up to that point.

Despite the setback, Palmer believes Norris demonstrated he has the ability and skill to keep pace with the seven-time World Champion.

"We all know how strong Hamilton is at driving in wet conditions – more often than not he ends up as the winner," Palmer wrote in his column for the official F1 website.

"That ended up being the case once more at a slippery Sochi, but it was only a result of Norris not pitting for the Intermediate tyres.

"Like for like in the conditions, Norris proved he was a match for Hamilton in a battle of wits out front, which is enormously impressive from a driver seeking that first win.

"Clearly it was the pit stop which made the difference, and between the top two this was a team decision, rather than a driver decision, which won the race."

Norris lost out after staying on slick tyres while Hamilton came in for Intermediates, but Palmer defended the McLaren driver, stating the team should have been firmer in dealing with the situation.

"There has been some criticism of Norris for being inexperienced or even arrogant in the way he dealt with the final laps – but actually I think Lando drove the optimum race with the information he had available to him," Palmer added.

"It's a time where drivers need important but concise information from their engineers as they scrabble around with limited grip on the edge of disaster."

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