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Verstappen denies aggression, moving under braking in Norris Austria crash

Max Verstappen denies he was “aggressive” towards Lando Norris in their 2024 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix crash and that he was moving under braking throughout their battle.

The pair collided as the final laps of the main event at the Red Bull Ring kicked off, with Verstappen penalised for moving across on Norris’s outside line attack at the track’s tight, sharply uphill Turn 3 right-hander.

Verstappen was given a 10-second penalty as the stewards found him to be predominantly to blame for the collision, which opened the door for George Russell to win as both drivers incurred punctures, dropping Verstappen off the podium and Norris into retirement.

When asked about the contact by reporters after the race, Verstappen said he “went back at it” and felt “10 seconds seemed a bit severe for me at that point”.

He added: “Because I didn’t feel like it was super – like anything kind of aggressive – going on in that movement.”

Of the two previous moments where Norris and then Verstappen went off the track as the McLaren attacked at Turn 3’s inside, which the former felt featured the latter moving under braking and against F1’s racing rules, Verstappen said: “For me, it was not moving under braking.

“Because every time that I moved, I was not braking already. Of course from the outside, it always looks like that, but I think I know fairly well what to do in this kind of scenarios.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton

“Also a few of those are really late dive bombs [from Norris], so it’s a bit of just sending it up the inside and just hope that the other guy steers out of it.

“It’s not always how you race, but I think it’s just the corner here that lends to that as well. I’ve been in the other position as well where you go for it, and it’s just the shape of the corner.

“I think the move that we got together was something that I didn’t expect.

“I saw him coming of course, so I defended a little bit the inside. And then under braking we touched with the rear tyres and we both get a puncture from it, which of course is something you don’t want to happen.”

In further questioning on the penalty being applied to his case, Verstappen again highlighted his rival’s attacking actions.

“That’s what I meant with the dive-bombing,” he said. “It’s just standing it up late and just hoping that the other guy steers out of it and you make the corner, which wasn’t the case.

“Of course, you can say moving on the braking for me, which wasn’t the case because I didn’t brake when I moved.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, battle for the lead

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, battle for the lead

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“But it’s also a bit like just sending it up the inside from far, which of course looks good. I like it as well, but sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

“And I think today that didn’t work out. But then of course, like I said before, with the contact that we have, it’s super unfortunate.”

Verstappen and Norris famously get on well, with much focus now being on their relationship progresses following their first on-track clash.

“We’ll talk about it, but not now,” Verstappen said of this. “It’s not the right time. But you know, we’re racing drivers.

“Lando and I, we have a little age gap [Norris is 24 and Verstappen 26] – that’s why we never really raced against each other in lower categories compared to some other drivers here.

“But yeah, we’ll move on from here then.”

Additional reporting by Filip Cleeren

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