Lando Norris blasts ‘pretty stupid’ Verstappen Austrian GP Sprint move

The Briton couldn't hide his frustration after losing out in his latest battle with Max Verstappen in Austria

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Lando Norris lamented his “pretty stupid” move on Max Verstappen which ultimately cost him a chance of winning the F1 Sprint at the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The McLaren driver had been chasing down Verstappen from the first lap and carved out an opportunity to make the overtake under DRS on Lap 5, as he made an audacious dart down the inside of Turn 3 at the Red Bull Ring.

But with the Red Bull star also picking up DRS, he was able to win back the lead into Turn 4 after Norris left the door wide open on the inside. The Briton then lost two places in the space of one corner when his team-mate Oscar Piastri seized upon the opportunity to take second place from Norris.

Despite rallying late on to challenge for P2, he couldn’t find a way past his McLaren colleague, with Norris left to rue his mistake that cost him vital points as he settled for third place.

Max Verstappen leads Oscar Piastri of McLaren during the 2024 Austrian GP Sprint | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen finished ahead of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris in the 2024 Austrian GP Sprint | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“It was a good battle. I knew there were not going be too many opportunities to try do it [overtake Verstappen] so I had to go for a bit of a move into Turn 3 and then I was just pretty stupid into Turn 4 and left the door open,” Norris told the written press at the Red Bull Ring, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“Two corners, two battles, and that was it, then Oscar managed to come past. I tried, obviously it didn’t go to plan but the pace in the car was pretty good.

“I think we gave it a good shot, but wasn’t quite enough today. But it’s nice to have two cars up there, nice to have two cars trying to fight against Max. And that’s what we need on Sunday.”

Norris doubles down on Austrian GP Sprint criticism

It was another instalment of his recent close battle with Verstappen, who got the better of Norris at the Spanish GP by just 2.2 seconds – despite the McLaren being the better car in the race.

On this occasion, Norris told F1 TV that Verstappen “did nothing special” and made a candid admission about his own driving.

When asked by F1’s interviewer Tom Clarkson if the sprint race was “another one that got away”, a frustrated Norris shut down the line of questioning and doubled down on his brutal self-assessment of his performance in Austria.

“We’re saying this every weekend now so I’m not going say it again,” Norris said. “I’m not going to say ‘I should have won’, but I needed to do a better job and just did something pretty stupid and silly, which wasn’t very smart to me.

“I think it’s a good amount of points, could have been a lot worse for the team. A good result and the result we wanted, so I’m happy. But I need to do things better.”

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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