Lando Norris admits he “didn’t have enough tyres” to deny Lewis Hamilton overtaking him for second place in the closing stages of the United States Grand Prix.

Having qualified on the front row, Norris seized the lead at the start from polesitter Charles Leclerc and led all the way up until Lap 27 when Max Verstappen overtook him into Turn 12.

Following a failed undercut attempt on the Red Bull driver at the second round of stops, Norris was well-placed to retain second place until Lewis Hamilton mounted a late charge.

Fitted with the Medium tyre against the Hard on the McLaren, Norris succumbed to Hamilton’s pressure and eventually trailed home third, 10.7s off Verstappen at the front.

Norris attributed his plight in the closing laps to high degradation that almost opened the door for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to prevent him from scoring a fourth consecutive podium.

“Yes, just leading the race. I could control it a lot, but just not enough today,” he said. “But I’m happy. It was a good race for my side.

“We knew our struggles, we knew what was going to be difficult today. And it was just the degradation but the pace over the first 10 laps of every stint, the pace in the beginning was strong.

“I just couldn’t hold on long enough. So we’re getting there. Progress, progress every weekend. Just some more steps needed.”

(L to R): Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates his third position on the podium with second placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. 22.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race Day.

Norris was left scrambling for traction through the final sector as Hamilton caught onto his rear at the end of Lap 48, setting him up for an overtake into Turn 1 on the next tour.

However, Hamilton’s dive to the inside was met by a late move from Norris, which the Mercedes driver avoided by lifting off and cutting underneath to secure second place.

Norris has defended his robust swipe across the front of Hamilton, adding that he was powerless to hold his compatriot back on rapidly ageing tyres.

“I had to try, right? But I just couldn’t do it,” he conceded. “I didn’t have enough tyres left at the end, you saw how quickly he pulled away at the end.

“So you know, I always had to look after my own race. I did the best I could.

“I had to push and look after the tyres, and it was just too difficult today. So maybe if it was a cooler track it would have suited us a little bit more but it wasn’t. But I’m still happy.

“The team have done an excellent job to finish on the podium here. It was better than we were expecting coming into the weekend. So very happy.”

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