Verstappen jokingly criticises Norris’ long-term deal at McLaren

Lando Norris said ahead of the 2023 Italian GP that he'd like to team up with Max Verstappen in F1

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Max Verstappen agreed that he would like to team up with Lando Norris at a Formula 1 team in the future, but has half-joked the Brit’s long-term contract with McLaren wasn’t a smart move for that to happen.

Norris has previously said he would love to take on Verstappen in equal machinery and said he’d even invited the Dutchman to join McLaren.

However, with Verstappen contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028 and Norris bound to McLaren for two more seasons, that prospect doesn’t look likely any time soon.

“He signed a very long-term deal with McLaren a few years ago so that was, that was probably not a smart thing to do him from his side,” Verstappen told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “No, we have a good relationship and we get on very well.

“I know he’s one of the best drivers out there at the moment and for sure it would be very interesting to team up with each other. But at the moment, of course, that’s not possible.”

Verstappen and Norris are good friends and are both active sim-racers, and have shared the real-life F1 podium twice this season.

The pair also have something else in common – Belgian mothers. Norris‘ mother, born Cisca Wauman, is from Flanders while Sophie Kumpen is also from the north-Belgian region and separated from Jos Verstappen when Max was young.

Verstappen: I never expected to win 10 races in a row

Max Verstappen celebrates at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen made history at the 2023 Italian GP as he surpassed Sebastian Vettel‘s record of nine consecutive wins – also set in a Red Bull in 2013. However, he insisted he doesn’t think about his F1 legacy and still takes every race in isolation.

“It’s something you don’t expect to happen,” said Verstappen. “I never thought at the beginning of the season that something like this was possible. So, very proud. But also just very happy with the race.

“In general, we had good pace again, we could look after our tyres. It was quite an interesting little battle in the beginning, you know, to try and get a move into Turn 1, but we just didn’t have the top speed to do so.

“So I had to wait for a tiny mistake or tiny lock-up or whatever. And, at one point, you know, Carlos had a little lock-up, which then made me have a good run out of Turn 2 and once I got in the lead, I could just focus on my own pace. And yeah, the car felt really nice to drive.”

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