Norris feels Verstappen ‘not unbeatable’ after P2

Lando Norris says Max Verstappen is not unbeatable despite the championship leader taking pole position by over half a second in qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix.

Verstappen has been on pole and won every race at Zandvoort since it returned to the calendar so far, and is currently on a run of eight straight race victories. Norris looked a threat for pole but had to settle for a distant second place, but says Verstappen can be beaten in qualifying given how small the margins are.

“I’ll say no (he’s not unbeatable), because there are times when we have been very close,” Norris said. “There have been plenty of times where it has been super close, whether Max has made a mistake or not. But it’s two differences — whether it’s qualifying or the race. I think in the race we have got no chance unless he gets unlucky and something happens. He’s a very good driver in a very good car and he is just doing the job that he needs to do.


“Full respect to that. But I wouldn’t say he is unbeatable, because on a day like today he can make a mistake — sadly he doesn’t, but it can happen. It happens to everyone and it can still happen to him. There’s a time and a place and we are all still waiting for it to happen — just not today.”

Norris says his final lap in Q3 was actually a poor one, despite his position on the front row.

“Qualifying is always stressful, no matter what the conditions, but definitely now it’s definitely trickier. The first half of the lap was mega, but the second half of the lap was probably one of the worst second halves that I’ve done. It peaked early on. It’s tough, but I really enjoyed these conditions. I’ve always enjoyed the conditions, it’s when we do well. I’m taking the P2 still.

“Tires were good until the end. The driver peaked very early. Got a bit of work to do, just not the most comfortable but good enough, so I’ll take it.”

Verstappen, meanwhile, is going for a record-equaling ninth straight victory on Sunday, and says he wasn’t expecting to be able to match Sebastian Vettel’s benchmark.

“I think after five wins in a row, Seb texted me and said, ‘Well done with what you are doing, keep it up and you are going to do it,’” Verstappen said. “But I was like, nine wins in a row is something very impressive and I never thought I would be able to already on eight. So if it’s possible tomorrow, of course I go for it. But it’s not something I have in the back of my head constantly, I’m not in the sport to try and break records. I’m here to win in the moment.”

Story originally appeared on Racer