What Lewis Hamilton said to Lando Norris in Russian GP paddock after McLaren squander win
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After heartbreak for McLaren’s Lando Norris at the Russian Grand Prix, the 21-year-old and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton have shared a moment in the paddock in the aftermath of the race after the seven-time world champion picked up his 100th win in Sochi.
Drama unfolded in the closing 10 laps of the Russian Grand Prix as the rain began to fall with Norris leading the way from Hamilton. Initially the slicks looked to be holding on the the changing conditions, with Hamilton warned that more rain would be coming before the race finished.
Initally Hamilton ignored a call to come in to change for the intermediate tyres, with Norris in the McLaren also opting to remain out, but as the rain began to fall heavier, Mercedes dove into the pits to change.
But McLaren stayed out with Norris, who became increasingly unable to control the car as the conditions worsened, watching his chance for a maiden win slipping through his fingers as the rain began to fall.
With Norris falling behind, he was forced to finally pit with just a few laps remaining, dropping down the order from the lead with Hamilton clinching the win.
Lando Norris fights tears and admits he got it wrong at Sochi
Whilst being interviewed by Sky Sports F1 afterwards in the pen however, the pair were able to discuss the closing stages of the race, with Hamilton admitting he had firstly ignored his team’s orders to come in, adding: “I was like, he’s right there, and I guess you were looking in the mirrors and doing the same thing.
“Until then,” Norris responded. “It was dry enough for slicks, was just five and seven which was tough, but the inside line was all dry, so our decision, what I got told was the rain was going to stay like that, apparently what you got told was different.”
Hamilton meanwhile had been told extensively on the radio that rain was coming, and it was due to increase before the race was through.
“Yeah, my team were pretty, well they were great today,” added Hamilton. “But I ignored the first call, I was like no he’s right there.”
“No, I know, I ignored them the whole time,” was the response from a dejected Norris.
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Norris was left devastated by what unfolded, and while holding back tears, he admitted fault for what unfolded.
“I don’t know where to start. I’m unhappy, devastated in a way,” he told Sky Sports. “We made a call to stay out and we stand by that. It was the wrong one at the end of the day but I made the decision just as much as the team. It was more that they thought I should box and I decided to stay out.
“It was my decision, I thought it was the way to go.
“I don’t think it changes too much. I had the confidence beforehand that I was capable of doing it (leading a race) and I’ve felt capable of doing that for a while. So I don’t think that’s really changed. It’s just a bit of heartbreak.”
“I felt like I did everything I could, even when it got a bit tricky at the end. I made a couple of mistakes but still kept Lewis behind and managed to pull away a little bit.
“A bit of luck like the laps I was out before Lewis boxed was perfectly fine for the tyres I was on and I got told the rain was going to stay the same amount. Had it stayed the same amount we had the right decision, but it obviously got a lot wetter than we as a team expected.
“When it’s only two laps to go, when there are 20 to go you’re maybe not as aggressive with decisions. We did what we thought was right, which I’m happy with.
“It was wrong at the end of the day but everything until then the guys did an excellent job. I’m happy with everything apart from that one decision which we’ll review and try not to make again.”
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