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Lando Norris

Norris reveals when he 'figured out' how to defend from Hamilton

Lando Norris had to drive defensively at various stages of the Italian Grand Prix, particularly when it came to trying to keep Lewis Hamilton behind in the early laps. The McLaren driver has explained the advantage he had in being able to do this.

Norris Monza
To news overview © McLaren

Lando Norris has admitted that the Sprint Qualifying race at the Italian Grand Prix gave him an advantage in knowing how to defend from Lewis Hamilton in the main event.

The McLaren driver had previously managed to stay ahead of Hamilton in the Sprint on Saturday, where they finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

Following this experience, Norris was able to use the knowledge he had gained to understand the seven-time World Champion's strengths and weaknesses when racing him again on Sunday.

"I think I had a good warm-up for that [in the Sprint], with 18 laps trying to defend from him," Norris told select media including RacingNews365.com.

"I could figure him out quite quickly, [in terms of] where he was going to be strong and weak and so on.

"He was on the Hard tyres, so for the majority of it, I could hold him off reasonably easily.

"The last two or three laps of the stint, the Hard tyre started to come back to him quite a bit, or the Medium started to drop away, so he actually got past me, he then boxed and we overcut him straight away."

Dealing with this as well as other battles meant that the race proved to be quite demanding for Norris, who eventually finished in second to bring home a McLaren 1-2 finish with teammate Daniel Ricciardo, after title rivals Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided.

"The whole race was stressful, [I'm] not going to lie," the 21-year-old admitted. "There was not one moment where I felt like I could relax and just chill out a little bit.

"That definitely makes it almost more special, more worthwhile, to kind of have to really work for it and end up in this position, to get past Charles [Leclerc] on the restart and so on.

"[It] makes it more worthwhile, maybe made a little bit easier in the middle after the pit-stops with what happened, but it still wasn't easy from that point on. We still had to work quite hard for it."

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