Lando Norris says Lewis Hamilton praising him over the team radio during the Austrian Grand Prix means a lot to him.
The two British drivers battled it out throughout the second race at the Red Bull Ring, with the McLaren driver ultimately prevailing to take P3 after the Mercedes picked up some damage.
Prior to that damage, in the earlier stages of the race, Hamilton overtook Norris and, after doing so, said on the radio that his compatriot was “such a great driver”.
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) July 4, 2021
Norris, who mistakenly assumed that it came later on when Hamilton had an issue and couldn’t battle him, admits that such praise means a lot to him.
“It’s cool,” he told Sky Sports after hearing it.
“To have that kind of respect and for him to say it, you know, it does mean a lot.
“I don’t know if he could say that because he admitted he wasn’t going to race us or had a problem or whatever. Maybe if we were racing fair and square maybe he wouldn’t have said it, I don’t know.
“But it’s kind words so I appreciate it.”
We did it again pic.twitter.com/15TSSDvjfR
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) July 4, 2021
It was one of Norris’s best race weekends since he joined the Formula 1 grid as he had the pace to fight both Mercedes drivers on both Saturday and Sunday, qualifying in P2 and finishing in P3.
He thinks it was a bit of a one-off though, and doesn’t want people expecting the same thing again at the British Grand Prix.
“The annoying thing is so many people are going to expect this every weekend now,” he added.
“Which um… We weren’t expecting to be this quick today, but the weather, the conditions, some improvements with the car from last weekend – the fact that I was P2 in qualy and half a tenth off the Red Bull, ahead of both Mercedes showed that we made that step from the previous weekend.
“And I think more of that showed in the race with how much more competitive we were but, on the other hand, I’m not going to get too giddy because I know we’re going to go to Silverstone and it’s probably going to be a little bit more back to normality.
“I wish I was trying to do this to make myself look good but it’s not. We’ve always been strong in Austria, you know? Every year since my first time coming here in F1. But also Silverstone was not so good for us last season.
“It’s not like I want to be negative, I’m just realistic, and I feel like a lot of people are going to expect this every weekend from now on and complain: ‘why are we not quick?’ It’s more like: ‘Why are we fast now?’ and then expect normal things the next time.”