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Norris slams “reckless, desperate” Verstappen after Austrian GP crash

Lando Norris has called Max Verstappen’s driving in Formula 1’s 2024 Austrian Grand Prix “reckless” and “desperate” after the collision between the pair cost them both a victory shot.

Norris and Verstappen made contact as the final stages of the race at the Red Bull Ring kicked off after long-time leader Verstappen had lost almost all of his previous advantage in a slow pitstop.

After Norris had gone off at Turn 3 in an attack at the inside of the track’s tight, sharply uphill right-hander, where he felt Verstappen moving right in the braking zone contributed to his lock-up and slide off track, the Red Bull driver moving left meant they collided as Norris that time came alongside on the outside line.

Verstappen picked up a left-rear puncture and fell to fifth, with the stewards blaming him for causing the collision and dishing out a 10-second time addition penalty, while Norris retired in the pits as a result of damage ensuing from his right-rear puncture.

Speaking to reporters after the race, Norris said of the incident: “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.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“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.

“So like 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.”

When asked to reflect on his driving against Verstappen – on Sunday in Austria and potentially in the future – Norris said: “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 added.

“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 1719762262 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.”

Additional reporting by Filip Cleeren

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