For the second successive weekend, the McLaren driver found himself holding off Hamilton’s Mercedes as he led the majority of the Sochi race until late rain hit in the last few laps.

Hamilton eventually went on to take his 100th grand prix victory in Russia, but only after pitting for intermediates earlier than Norris, who insisted on trying to brave out the final laps on slicks.

The seven-time world champion acknowledged after the race that it would have been “tough” for him to pass Norris had conditions remained dry and praised the 21-year-old’s “amazing” performance.

Writing in his column for the official F1 website, former Renault F1 racer and 2014 GP2 champion Palmer felt Norris had showcased his abilities, despite the end result.

“We all know how strong Hamilton is at driving in wet conditions – more often than not he ends up as the winner,” Palmer wrote.

“That ended up being the case once more at a slippery Sochi, but it was only a result of Norris not pitting for the intermediate tyres. 

“Like for like in the conditions, Norris proved he was a match for Hamilton in a battle of wits out front, which is enormously impressive from a driver seeking that first win.

“Clearly it was the pit stop which made the difference, and between the top two this was a team decision, rather than a driver decision, which won the race.”

F1’s managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn argued Norris’s “inexperience showed a bit” in his reluctance to pit for intermediates, a decision that resulted in him dropping to seventh.

But Palmer jumped to the defence of Norris, suggesting that McLaren should have been firmer in its handling of the situation and ultimately overruled its driver.

“There has been some criticism of Norris for being inexperienced or even arrogant in the way he dealt with the final laps – but actually I think Lando drove the optimum race with the information he had available to him,” Palmer said.

“It’s a time where drivers need important but concise information from their engineers as they scrabble around with limited grip on the edge of disaster.

“It seemed fundamentally that McLaren didn’t see the weather worsening, and if they did then they had to take control of the situation and order Norris in, even if like Hamilton, it was against his natural instinct from the cockpit.”