Christian Horner: Verstappen clash inevitable due to Norris ‘hangover’

The Red Bull boss appeared to throw the blame onto Norris for being overzealous in his approach

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner felt the collision between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen was “inevitable” following their dramatic clash at the Formula 1 2024 Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Verstappen and Norris came to blows when fighting for the lead in the latter stages of the race after Norris had challenged the three-time world champion with a series of moves at Turn 3 under DRS.

Their fascinating battle arrived at a disappointing conclusion when Norris – travelling up the outside on this occasion – appeared to be bumped off the track by Verstappen, with both drivers sustaining punctures to their rear tyres. Norris retired, while Verstappen came home in fifth as George Russell snatched a shock victory.

It comes after the pair also had intriguing battles for the win at the Spanish GP and other races this season, and Horner conceded it was a matter of time before things became more tense.

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris of McLaren after qualifying for the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen and Lando Norris have enjoyed some close battles | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“Max is a hard racer. And they [McLaren] know that. I think Lando was trying to make up yesterday and it was inevitable that you could see this [incident] building perhaps for a couple of races,” Horner told the press at the Red Bull Ring, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“At some point, there was going to be something close between the two of them.”

Horner: Norris suffered from F1 Sprint hangover

Horner also appeared to suggest that Norris‘ desire to beat Verstappen was driven his own frustration after losing out in the F1 Sprint race.

Norris had qualified on pole for Saturday’s 23-lap race, but finished third behind his team-mate Oscar Piastri after the Briton conceded he made an error in his attempted overtake on Verstappen.

Lando Norris of McLaren after the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Lando Norris was forced to retire from the Austrian GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull boss reminded Norris of the pain of finishing behind Piastri and claimed it had an effect on his eagerness to get past Verstappen.

“He was getting his elbows out, he had two tough races, Lando… probably had a bit of a hangover from yesterday,” Horner added.

“Max got past him without the DRS down into Turn 4 and then he got mugged by his team-mates. So there’s probably a little bit of a hangover of that.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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