Norris ‘was trying to cause something’ in clash with Verstappen – Horner

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner suggests Lando Norris was trying to create an opportunity to heavily impact Max Verstappen’s race in their battle at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Norris was trying to overtake Verstappen in the final stint of the race after a slow pit stop brought the Red Bull driver into range in the fight for the win, and had multiple failed attempts to pass at Turn 3. In one attack, Norris ran wide in what was his fourth track limits violation – earning him a five-second time penalty – and Horner says that makes the contact that followed ‘frustrating’ from his perspective.

“Obviously we had the race under control, there was an eight-second lead and the pit stop put us closer than we should have been,” Horner told SiriusXM. “Lando had the benefit of the newer tire with cooler temps than we expected, but then he picked up four track violations, so he was going to get a five-second penalty, and it just felt like he was trying to cause something up at Turn 3.


“So very frustrating. Frustrating for Max, for the team, but nonetheless we’ve still managed to extend leads in both championships, but not the points we wanted.”

The stewards appeared to disagree with Horner’s assessment as Verstappen was handed a 10-second time penalty for moving towards Norris – who was on the outside in the braking zone – when they collided, but the Red Bull team principal maintained his stance when asked if he felt Norris had initiated contact.

“I felt there was a lot of dive-bombing going on up there,” Horner said. “I need to look at it again, I’ve only seen it live so I haven’t seen a replay, but the penalty did seem harsh. But it is what it is.”

When reviewing the race later on Sunday evening, Horner also pointed to Norris losing out to Verstappen in a battle during the Sprint race as having played a role in the way he approached the latest fight.

“I think Max is a hard racer, and they know that. I think Lando was trying to make up for [Saturday],” he said. “It was inevitable that you could see this building perhaps for a couple of races. At some point, there was going to be something close between the two of them.

“[Norris] was getting his elbows out. It’s two tough racers.

“It’s probably a bit of a hangover from [the Sprint]. Max passed him without DRS into Turn 4, and then he got mugged by his teammate, so there was probably a little bit of a hangover of that. It was a shame, because we had everything under control. I think the final pit stop put Lando back into contention, and then with the advantage on tire that he had, that was enough to get him into the DRS.”

Story originally appeared on Racer