Hamilton Questions Norris' Turn 1 Strategy: 'Should Have Just Conceded'

Saturday, 20 April 2024 at 22:30
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Lewis Hamilton shared his thoughts on the incident with Lando Norris on the opening lap of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Sprint race.
The seven-time World Champion started the Sprint race from the front row on the grid after an incredible performance during the Sprint Shootout in wet conditions.
Crucially, he got a much better launch of the line than Lando Norris in the pole position on his left-hand side. Going into the first right-hand corner, the seven-time World Champion had the inside line and was slightly ahead.
Not wanting to give up his position, Norris tried to hang it the long way around this outside. However, he eventually ran out of the dry line, lost grip, and ran into the run-off area, which lost him six positions before he returned to track. Asked to talk the media through his battle with the McLaren driver, Hamilton said afterward:

"No, I mean I obviously got a great start and I was obviously on the inside line. He tried to hold the outside line and we were both just pushing to the maximum.

"I used obviously everything to try and hold position and eventually I think he just ended up on the dirty bits on the outside and then lost it."

The seven-time World Champion believes that he did nothing wrong and that the 24-year-old driver should have given up his position instead of trying the risky way around the outside.

"There's a point when you go a bit too far, then there's no grip out there and I think that's what he eventually found."

"In that scenario, he should have just conceded and just parked in behind me, he probably would have had the pace to overtake me, because the McLaren is very quick. I know he lost a lot of ground there, but that's racing."

This overtake into the first corner was essential for Hamilton as he was then able to break away and create a gap between himself and the rest of the field (except for Max Verstappen) to bring home the first podium of the season for himself and Mercedes.