Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Lewis Hamilton made a classy comment about Lando Norris during the Austrian Grand Prix as he passed his fellow Brit for second place at the Red Bull Ring while Max Verstappen led the way in Austria.
Norris, who picked up his best qualifying position of his career for McLaren on Saturday, held off the seven-time world champion for 19 laps before the Mercedes driver swept past the 21-year-old.
However, as Hamilton did it, he took to his radio to praise the younger driver for his performance.
“Such a great driver, Lando,” Hamilton was heard telling his team.
Norris had a torrid lap 20 as moments later he was handed a five-second penalty for forcing Red Bull’s Sergio Perez off the track on the opening lap.
It was a double hit for Norris as stewards make their decision before Hamilton passes the McLaren with DRS up to Turn 4.
JUST IN: Lewis Hamilton makes classy Lando Norris comment on Mercedes radio
Norris rejoined behind Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas in a net fourth place after serving his penalty in the pitstop window.
Lando was left frustrated on the radio as he was told about the penalty, exclaiming: “For what?!” as his engineer explained they would talk about it at the end of the race.
“Whatever,” was the response from the McLaren man.
“If it was for lap one (after the Safety Car), what does the guy expect trying to go around the outside?”
Lando helped McLaren back to the front row of the grid for the first time since 2012, qualifying ahead of both Mercedes drivers and even split the two Red Bulls at the Red Bull Ring.
“I feel epic!” said Norris after qualifying.
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“It was cool. After the last race, I wanted to do that one more step [starting fourth] and I did two more. It’s nice. It puts us in a good position for tomorrow, it’s one of the best laps I’ve done I think.
“It was a good feeling.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton ruled out the chance of a win on Sunday after setting only the fourth-fastest time during qualifying. His main title rival Verstappen started on pole for the third race in a row.
“Even more of a challenge than already it was last week, and we continue to lack pace, we tried everything to get more out of the car,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports F1.
“It’s just the underlying pace that’s where we’re at, at the moment.
“So we’ve got to really find performance in the following races, I don’t know if McLaren have brought an upgrade, but they’re mega quick today.
“Great job from Lando [Norris], we’ve just got to try and improve.
“When I look at the lap to Max’s, yeah it’s the whole lap [we’re lacking time], just a little bit everywhere.”
Hamilton is looking to cut the 18-point lead to Verstappen in the driver’s standings on Sunday after the seven-time world champion fell behind after the Monaco Grand Prix.
He added: “I would say so yeah, on pure pace, it’s definitely out of the question.
“I would say that that’s an easy cruise win for Max, for us, I think it’s to see if we can get ahead of at least Perez and try to limit the damage this weekend.”
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