Advertisement

Norris ready to move on after talking through Austrian clash with Verstappen

Lando Norris says he no longer believes Max Verstappen needs to apologize to him for the contact between the pair that ended his race in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was given a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision after drifting left into Norris on his outside under braking for Turn 3 at the Red Bull Ring, a corner that had seen the pair battling for a number of laps. Norris was unhappy with the way Verstappen was defending and at the time said he felt he didn’t get a fair fight, and that any talks would need initiating with an apology from the Dutchman. On arrival at the British Grand Prix, however, he changed his stance.

“Honestly, I don’t think he needed to apologize,” Norris said. “I think like some of the things I said in the pen after the race was more because I was frustrated at the time. A lot of adrenaline and emotions, and I probably said some things I didn’t necessarily believe in, especially later on in the week.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was tough. It was a pretty pathetic incident, in terms of what ended both of our races. It wasn’t like a hit, it wasn’t like an obvious bit of contact. It was probably one of the smallest bits of contact you can have, but with a pretty terrible consequence for both of us, especially for myself.

“Yeah, he does’t need to. I don’t expect an apology from him — I don’t think he should apologize. I thought it was, as a review, good racing. At times, maybe very close to the edge, but we’ve spoken about it and we’re both happy to go racing again.”

Norris does, however, want the FIA to clamp down on moves under braking.

“I think it was still very clear that it was happening,” he said, referring to moving under braking. “It’s a tricky one. Max isn’t going to want to crash — he’s not going to want to ruin his own race or his own chances. So I think yes, there are definitely things I need to do slightly differently. I don’t think he’s going to change too much; I don’t think I’m going to change much.

“Could we have avoided the crash? Definitely. Is there something I could have done? I easily could have used more curb. But there’s things from both sides that I’m sure we wanted to do better or in a slightly different way.

“On the whole, avoiding an incident from moving under braking is the biggest part of it. There could very easily be an incident that comes from such a thing, and I think if anything to be very careful of, it’s something that could happen.

“So that’s just something for the future that the stewards and FIA need to be aware of, that something could easily go wrong. So I think to a certain point, you’re defending, you’re being aggressive, and that’s OK. But there’ll be a point when there is a limit, and I think that just needs to be defined in a slightly better way.”

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella claimed the battle with Verstappen led to incidents that could have been avoided if addressed during the 2021 title battle that also involved Lewis Hamilton, and while Hamilton disagreed with Stella’s comments, Norris backed his boss.

“I’m sure Lewis would agree with it two years ago or three years ago! 100%,” he said. “There were definitely a few moments especially. I think Andrea’s got a very good amount of sensibility with the things he talks about.

“Certain things are always different when you’re a little bit more in the moment… but on the whole, I agree with what Andrea says.”

Story originally appeared on Racer