An honour to race Hamilton for second at British GP - Norris

SILVERSTONE, England -- After growing up watching Lewis Hamilton on television, Lando Norris described battling the Mercedes driver for podium positions at the British Grand Prix as an "honour" and a "privilege."

Over the final 15 laps of Sunday's race, the two British drivers were locked in a tight battle for second place in front of a capacity home crowd of 160,000.

Max Verstappen won the race ahead of Norris and Hamilton, but following a safety car restart all eyes were on the McLaren and the Mercedes behind.

For two laps, Hamilton had a tyre advantage over Norris and twice attempted overtaking moves at Copse corner as well as getting alongside the McLaren at Luffield.

Norris, who is 15 years younger than Hamilton, held the seven-time world champion off and said after the race that Hamilton's early years in F1 had been his inspiration when he first started out in go-karts.

"That is genuinely what made me want to become a racing driver today and to be sat here and fighting and being a Formula One driver... I guess little did I know that Lewis would still be here 15 years later and still going strong," Norris said.

"Fair play to him, it's an honour to be able to race with these guys who have created history and been some of the best drivers ever that have come through Formula One.

"It's special, and I guess I want to be someone who can join in on these battles and be part of all of this and create some of my own history. It's an honour, a privilege I guess in many ways, and exciting at the same time."

Hamilton, who has complimented Norris' driving in the past, said he was impressed by the 23-year-old's defence in Sunday's race.

"Once again, he's very talented naturally as you can see," Hamilton said. "I think it's great when you can have close battles like that and rely on the driver that you're competing with to be hard but fair.

"So there was never an element or a moment where we thought we were going to come together or anything like that. That's what motor racing is all about.

"As he wanted to hold on to second, I wanted to get that second place. But it wasn't meant to be today."

McLaren has improved significantly at the last two races following an upgrade to its car at the Austrian Grand Prix. Norris, who qualified second on the grid at Silverstone, took the lead of the race at the first corner and held it for the opening five laps before Verstappen passed him at Brooklands.

"My heart was racing a bit more than normal and I was watching the crowd a few times and just watching them," Norris said when asked what it was like leading at Silverstone.

"The team have done a good job, they've improved the car. The last few weeks have been extremely good. I'm very happy for them.

"But yeah, to get the launch [off the line] kind of saved me from some of the chaos behind because you never know what can happen in Turn 3 and Turn 4.

"I managed to push on quite a bit the first few laps, which was exactly what we wanted to do. It doesn't always go to plan. We planned for that, and [it] got me out of trouble. Very good pace [during] the first stint.

"We managed to break away from everyone quite a bit. We managed to go with Max for a little bit, just not as much as I would have loved to do."