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Unsympathetic Lewis Hamilton blames Lando Norris for Lap 1 Sprint Race incident

The pair duelled for the lead of the 2024 Chinese GP Sprint Race before Norris was squeezed off track giving Hamilton the lead

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Lewis Hamilton offered little sympathy to Lando Norris after the McLaren driver lost the lead of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Race on Lap 1 when the Mercedes hung him out to dry on the outside of the line, meaning his wait for victory will go on.

Norris took pole after delivered an incredible third sector on Friday in a rain-afflicted Sprint Qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit that saw him beat Hamilton by 1.2 seconds and Max Verstappen by just shy of 2.1 seconds, but after three corners of the race, it turned out to be all for nothing.

The 24-year-old didn’t get a particularly good satrt from the line after struggling to find a good launch on the formation lap too and that gave Hamilton all the incentive he needed to dive down the inside in the first corner.

Of course, offering the lead of an F1 race to Lewis Hamilton is like offering a juicy, bloodied steak to a starving tiger and the 103-time Grand Prix winner wasted no time getting alongside and holding his line through the sweeping right-hand curve.

In the process, Hamilton ran Norris wide before declaring he was blameless in the incident post-race, which saw the McLaren drop from pole to seventh. It’s important to note that there was zero contact between the pair.

“I obviously got a great start was on the inside line,” Hamilton said to select members of the press after the race, including Total-Motorsport.com. “He tried to hold the outside line and we just we were both just pushing to the maximum.

“I used 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. There is a point when you go a bit too far and 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 the pace to overtake me because the McLaren is very quick, but I know he lost a lot of ground there but that’s racing.”

Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

Norris’s wait for a win goes on

Coming into the weekend, Norris already declared the wait for a win would go on for some time but he was offered a golden opportunity when he took pole as the heavens opened and the downpour fell in Asia.

Yet that refreshing joy of rain turned into ash in his mouth after two corners of the race and the wait for a victory of any kind at all in F1 goes on, with the youngster now winless in 108 starts in the sport as he threatens to bear down on Nico Hulkenberg’s unwanted record of the most starts without winning.

In fact, the Brit is currently the driver with the most podiums to never have actually won a race showing just how close he’s always been a front-wing away from the sweet taste of top-step champagne, whilst being so far away at the same time.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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