Although McLaren are powered by Mercedes, Lando Norris would not consider yielding to Lewis Hamilton and aiding his title bid.
While Hamilton and Max Verstappen are alone in their fight for the 2021 World Championship, on-track Norris has on a few occasions this season got involved in their battles.
The Russian Grand Prix was the latest example as Norris took pole position on a drying Sochi track, and in the closing stages of the race was leading as Hamilton approached.
Ultimately a late heavy rain shower changed the Russian Grand Prix completely, with Norris and McLaren making the wrong decision to stay out on slicks.
Hamilton pitted, allowing him to take his 100th career victory, while Verstappen also seized the opportunity to finish P2.
Hamilton admitted after the race though that without that rain, he is not sure he could have overtaken Norris.
“It would have been tough to have got past Lando. He had great pace, he did the fastest lap, so it would have been tough to get past unless we caught some traffic or something, or he made a mistake which he hasn’t been doing at all,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 after the Russian Grand Prix.
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But if he finds himself leading Hamilton again in the final leg of this season, would Norris keep up that stern defence?
Motorsport.com asked the question of the 21-year-old, citing Mercedes’ engine partnership with McLaren, and how that potentially could influence the customer team to help their supplier seal the titles if they can.
But Norris said he races for himself and McLaren, so would not consider letting Hamilton past in any scenario. The same goes for Verstappen.
“Stepping aside if I have Lewis and Max behind me? No, I’ll never step aside,” Norris stated.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m fighting for the title or not, I drive for my team and for myself. I fight to win races, I’ll never leave a place to Max or Lewis or anyone else. I don’t care if they need it to win the title.”
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