F1 News: Rising Tensions Between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen After Austrian GP

F1 News: Rising Tensions Between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen After Austrian GP

As the dust settles on the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix, the fallout between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen has left the former fuming. A pivotal moment that defined the race was a dramatic collision at the Red Bull Ring, involving a tussle between Norris and Verstappen during the final stages, resulting in punctured tires for both. Norris was forced to retire due to extensive damage, while Verstappen limped to a fifth-place finish, ultimately leading to George Russell’s unexpected victory.

The stewards handed down a ten-second penalty to Verstappen post-race, pinpointing him as the culprit in the incident. This decision echoes the tension that unfolded on the track, with Norris openly criticizing Verstappen’s approach to racing. Speaking to Sky Sports F1 following the race, Norris stated, as quoted by GPBlog: “It depends what he says. If he says he did nothing wrong, then I’ll lose a lot of respect for that. If he admits to being stupid, running into me, and being reckless, then I have a small amount of respect.”

“I’m disappointed. It was a good race. I looked forward to a fair battle, but I wouldn’t say that’s what it was. Tough one to take. A mistake-free race from myself. I did a good job, but I was taken out of the race. You’re not allowed to react to another driver, and that’s what he did three times out of three. Two times, I managed to avoid it. Third time, he ran into me. He ruined his own race as much as he ruined mine.”

Norris’s frustration was palpable as he discussed the impact of the crash, which went beyond just a lost race. In a separate interview, Norris explained, as quoted by Autosport: “There’s rules for what you’re not allowed to do and you’re allowed to do. He was doing things you’re not allowed to do and not getting penalised. I expect a tough battle against Max. I know what to expect. I expect aggression and pushing the limits and that kind of thing.”

“All three times he’s doing stuff which can easily cause an incident. And in a way just a bit reckless – he seemed like a little bit desperate from his side. Doesn’t need to be, he’s got plenty of wins. But a bit desperate to do what he could to not let me pass and I know it’s going to be aggressive. I’m in a way not surprised, but I just expected a tough, fair, respectful on the edge bit of racing and I don’t feel like that’s what I got him into.”

Norris continued: “I don’t think I need to change anything I’m doing. I mean, I was on the edge of the track, I didn’t know what else I’m going to do. He’s always been a bit like that. I respect Max a lot and what he can do and what he goes out and does every time he’s on track, but there’s times when I think he goes maybe a little bit too far.”

“And I feel like today is a little bit of that. It’s one incident and at the same time, I know these things happen. [But] I’m disappointed. He ruined my race, destroyed my car. These are the best bits on the car [now] for the bin. We don’t have a lot of space in the battle that we’re in, in terms of upgrades and budget cap and things like that.”

“My whole car is destroyed and these are all the bits that we need for next week. It’s not just a repercussion of what happens on the track, it’s everything that we have to carry in Silverstone and be disadvantaged by. I just expected a bit more from him.”

The tension between Norris and Verstappen has added a new layer of drama to the F1 season. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is expected to be a continuation of this rivalry. Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner expects the fight to continue next weekend and was sure to make a sarcastic remark back at Pringle. “I think the British Grand Prix is set to be a continuation of the theme that we’ve seen in the last few races. If they can’t sell tickets now, then they’re probably in the sh**,” Horner told GPblog and others in Austria.

The situation at Red Bull has sparked rumors that Verstappen could leave the team in the near future if Horner is not relieved of his duties. He has been linked with a sensational move to Mercedes, who will have an open seat when Lewis Hamilton joins Ferrari next year. Horner has insisted that he intends to stay on as Red Bull team principal. Toto Wolff was spotted chatting to Verstappen’s father in the Bahrain paddock, fueling talk of a potential move away from Red Bull at the end of the season. However, the Mercedes boss has already played down the prospect of replacing Hamilton with Verstappen, insisting that he is unlikely to be keen on leaving Red Bull while they have the best car on the grid.

“I think the driver will always choose the quickest car,” said Wolff. “That is fundamentally what it’s all about. At the moment, Red Bull is the quickest car so that will, in my opinion, always be the priority. I think today, Max is not in a different league, but he’s in a different galaxy.”

Source: GPBlog, Autosport, Sky Sports F1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top