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Red Bull regrets not warning Verstappen about Norris investigation in Austrian GP

Red Bull’s failure to warn Max Verstappen that Lando Norris faced a track limits investigation might have avoided their late 2024 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix crash, reckons Helmut Marko.

Verstappen and Norris collided in the closing stages of Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring, after the McLaren driver had gone off the track three times and earned a track limits black-white-warning flag, before then going off in their second skirmish at the track’s Turn 3.

This would later earn Norris a five-second time penalty, as is automatic in F1’s rules once a track limits warning has been issued, but before that came through the pair had collided at Turn 3 – this time when the McLaren driver attacked on the outside line and Verstappen moved across on him.

Speaking to Red Bull’s own TV channel, ServusTV post-race, Marko said: “The victory was lost by several factors.

“The fact that the [second Verstappen] pitstop went wrong, Lando slipped into the DRS window as a result, and also our assumption that the hard tyres would be the better choice in hot weather, which was not the case.

“The temperatures were lower, meaning that Lando had fresh tyres in the last stint and we had used ones, which was also a factor.

“But I would say that both drove unnecessarily hard. We could perhaps be blamed for this: we knew that an investigation with track limits was underway against Lando.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton

“But we didn’t know whether and how he would be punished. So, with hindsight, you could have said: ‘OK, let him go’.

“But let’s look on the bright side, we’ve extended our championship lead, both in the constructors’ championship and in the drivers’ championship.”

Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, also reckoned Verstappen locking up and nearly going off on his out-lap after his second stop was another factor that “all this together made it possible” and allowed Norris to get a victory shot that had long looked unlikely.

Verstappen had controlled the race to that point, with his pace on the medium tyres in the first stint much better than Norris’s, before the McLaren started to close in as their second stint on hards wore on.

Marko reckoned their late fight was “a really great battle at times” until “it somehow degenerated into who was pushing who more, who was violating more track limits, instead of concentrating on finishing fairly”.

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