Disappointed' Norris Calls Verstappen 'Desperate' And 'Aggressive'

Monday, 01 July 2024 at 14:08
Updated at Monday, 01 July 2024 at 14:58
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Lando Norris called Max Verstappen a bit "desperate" and "aggressive" following their collision in the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen started the 11th round of the 2024 season at Red Bull Ring from P1 and seemed to have the upper hand on Lando Norris in terms of pure pace throughout the first two stints.
However, a series of events (wrong strategy call, two bad pit stops, and locking up into turn 4) led to the McLaren driver catching up with the triple World Champion.
What followed was a mighty battle between two of the best drivers on the grid that unfortunately ended with a collision, which meant none of the two stood on the podium.
The battle lasted for multiple laps, during which the 24-year-old driver complained that Verstappen moved under braking—something that is against the rules.
The collision that ended Norris's race came on lap 64 when Verstappen squeezed on the side of the track on entry into turn number 3.
Both drivers got a puncture, but Norris's car was so damaged when he came into the pits that he couldn't continue in the race. Speaking to the media after the Grand Prix, the McLaren driver said:

"There are rules for what you're not allowed to do, and you're allowed to do. He was doing things you're not allowed to do and not getting penalized. I expect a tough battle against Max."

"I know what to expect. I expect aggression, and pushing the limits, and that kind of thing. All three times, he's doing stuff which can easily cause an incident. And in a way just a bit reckless – he seemed like a little bit desperate from his side."

The Red Bull Racing driver had his own point of view, suggesting he did not move under braking and that Norris's dive bomb attempts were a bit over the line as well. The Briton driver continued:

"Doesn't need to be, he's got plenty of wins. But a bit desperate to do what he could to not let me pass, and I know it's going to be aggressive."

"So, like, I'm in a way not surprised, but I just expected a tough, fair, respectful on the edge bit of racing, and I don't feel like that's what I got him into."

Could Norris have done something to prevent the incident? 

Ultimately, the stewards gave Verstappen a ten-second time penalty, ruling that the incident was the Dutchman's fault. Red Bull's team principal, Christian Horner, did not agree with the final verdict, suggesting it was too "harsh."
Reflecting on the final incident itself, Norris asserted that he had done nothing wrong and that he didn't feel he needed to change anything about his driving moving forward.

"I don't think I need to change anything I'm doing. I mean, I was on the edge of the track, I didn't know what else I'm going to do."

"He's always been a bit like that. I respect Max a lot and what he can do and what he goes out and does every time he's on track, but there's times when I think he goes maybe a little bit too far."