Lewis Hamilton reveals overtake button failed to help him pass Lando Norris

Lewis Hamilton acknowledged the straight-line advantage on show from McLaren, as the Papaya team scooped P2 at the British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton shared his perspective on the intense duel with Lando Norris during the 2023 British Grand Prix, shedding light on why he was unable to pass the McLaren driver. 

Hamilton applied immense pressure on Norris during the safety car restart and even managed to draw alongside him, but he couldn’t execute the move successfully down the national pit straight.

Norris revealed that he opted for a lower-downforce setup, anticipating the need for additional straight-line speed, and it proved to be a wise decision, helping him secure a podium finish. 

Hamilton spoke to the press about the moment, saying, “I threw it up the inside into turn seven and I hoped that this is the moment I could make it happen and pressed the overtake button. 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“So we were both going down the road with the overtake, but he had less drag. 

“So I guess they said they had a small wing, and we just started pulling, so I had to back out.”

Hamilton acknowledged his speed advantage in the first half of the lap and mentioned that during their qualifying laps, they were very close to Max Verstappen until turn 13, where they consistently fell behind. 

He acknowledged the need for improvement in their high-speed performance, indicating that there is work to be done.

Article continues below

Adding to the intrigue of the race, McLaren showcased a part-chrome livery as a nostalgic nod to their appearance when Hamilton raced with the team. 

Hamilton made his debut with McLaren in 2007 and clinched their last British GP victory in 2008, the same year he secured their most recent world championship.

Expressing his delight at McLaren’s resurgence, Hamilton stated, “It’s really amazing to see McLaren back in competitive form. 

“I think it’s been such a long time. 

“I really didn’t expect to be on the podium today, but when we go through the different strategy options, the safety car is the one you hope for.” 

He further explained that he instructed the team to put him on medium tires, intending to maintain proximity to the frontrunners until the possibility of a safety car arose.

READ: Max Verstappen lifts lid on Lewis Hamilton amid boo threat

Hamilton expressed his gratitude to the team for their continuous efforts and acknowledged the need for improvements to make the car more competitive against the Red Bulls and the new McLarens. 

He added, “Our long-run pace is really good, and I’m really grateful for the team for continuing to push. 

“We do have a lot of work to do on our car to put ourselves in proper, competitive form.”