Lewis Hamilton-Lando Norris Silverstone battle labelled potential ‘handing over the baton’

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris, McLaren, battles Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes. Silverstone July 2023.

Lando Norris holds off Lewis Hamilton around the outside of Luffield as they fight over second place. Silverstone July 2023.

Martin Brundle has said that the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could potentially be seen as a symbolic moment among British Formula 1 drivers.

The young McLaren driver was able to hold off the seven-time World Champion in the heat of battle at Silverstone on Sunday, with Hamilton chasing Norris on soft tyres to try and get past after the Safety Car restart.

A superb fight between the two took place, but Norris was able to hold on to take second place as his hard tyres eventually came up to temperature.

Martin Brundle: Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris ‘a pleasure to watch’

Hamilton was seen all over the back of Norris after the late Safety Car restart, with the pair dicing side-by-side on the Wellington Straight, through Luffield and Woodcote on multiple laps, but the McLaren driver was able to stay ahead of his more experienced compatriot.

Norris joked in the post-race press conference about Hamilton’s age and how he grew up watching the former McLaren man, but ex-Formula 1 driver Brundle revelled in watching the two drivers duel for second place on Sunday.

Not only that, with Norris’ star rising there could be a potential ‘changing of the guard’ attached to that moment when we look back in the future.

Brundle wrote in his post-race column for Sky Sports: “The biggest story of the race was the restart after the Safety Car when both McLarens were on fresh hard compound tyres while those around them had lightly-used soft tyres fitted. It looked like a mistake and Norris clearly thought so, judging by his radio message.

“But what would follow could arguably be considered as handing over the baton in British F1 driver terms.

“The warm-up of the hard tyres would take longer than the two steps softer ‘soft’ tyres and both Norris and Hamilton were all too aware of that.

“Lewis had a handful of corners over a couple of laps, albeit with no DRS open rear wing available, to make second place his.

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“He was aggressive and yet controlled but Lando positioned his car perfectly to block Lewis without any weaving or dirty driving.

“It was a pleasure to watch and once he survived that phase then he could stretch his legs out of DRS range to finish nearly four seconds ahead of Hamilton who had Piastri right on his tail.

“McLaren hadn’t completed a single lap in the top five this season until the weekend before in Austria; now that’s what I call a car upgrade.

“Two Brits on the podium for the first time in 24 years was just what many of the Silverstone crowd wanted as another cracking British GP came to a close.”

Read next: Did Max Verstappen race Lando Norris differently to Lewis Hamilton?