As Lando Norris reminisced about his childhood memories of watching Lewis Hamilton in action for McLaren at Silverstone, he could not resist dropping a light-hearted Fernando Alonso reference in there.
Hamilton made his Formula 1 debut with McLaren back in 2007, his rookie campaign spent alongside the defending two-time champ at the time Alonso, a partnership which went down in F1 history as one of the most explosive.
Alonso left the team at the end of that season, returning to Renault for the 2008 campaign, that the year Hamilton became World Champion for the first time with his iconic performance on home soil at Silverstone a key highlight of his campaign.
Lando Norris jokes about Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso teamwork
Speaking to media, including PlanetF1.com, after the British Grand Prix, Norris had been reflecting on watching those early Hamilton performances at Silverstone as a youngster, observing the “beautiful teamwork” of Hamilton and Alonso as McLaren drivers.
High levels of sarcasm indeed were detected!
“I’d never been to race in Formula 1, 2017 was my first ever Formula 1 race that I went to and I was here with McLaren,” said Norris. “Until then, I’d only ever watched on TV.
“So those times, that was 2007, 2008, seeing the beautiful teamwork of Lewis and Fernando…reminds me of all of my relationships with my team-mates!”
On a more serious note, time will tell whether the 2023 British GP will prove to be a breakthrough performance in Norris’ McLaren career as he drove to a P2 finish, the team having surged up the order with the upgrade package introduced for their MCL60.
Norris would pass polesitter and runaway Championship leader Max Verstappen at the start and led the opening five laps before the Red Bull driver struck back.
Norris went on to finish P2, placing his McLaren perfectly to see off an attack from Hamilton who had benefitted from the timing of the Safety Car, and was now running the soft compound tyres against Norris’ hard tyres.
And with those days of the Hamilton-Alonso battles serving as the inspiration for Norris to chase his own place on the Formula 1 grid, he hopes from here to be able to “create some of my own history”.
“That is genuinely still what made me want to become a racing driver today and be sat here and be fighting and being a Formula 1 driver,” Norris continued.
“I guess little did I know that Lewis would still be here 15 years later and still going strong. So I mean, fair play to him.
“It’s an honour to be able to race with these guys who have created history and been some of the best drivers ever that have come through Formula 1, so it’s special.
“And I guess I want to be someone who can join in on those battles and be part of all of this and create some of my own history. It’s an honour, a privilege I guess in many ways and exciting at the same time.”
Norris and McLaren will be very much under the microscope at the next round in Hungary, with the Hungaroring serving as a track which on paper will not suit the MCL60 as well as the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone did.