Lando Norris backs down in Max Verstappen row after private talks

The McLaren star revealed the two drivers have cleared the air following their controversial collision at the Austrian GP

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Lando Norris has admitted he regrets lashing out at Max Verstappen after the two drivers cleared the air following their dramatic collision at the Formula 1 2024 Austrian Grand Prix.

The McLaren star was forced to retire on Lap 64 when he and Verstappen collided when attempting an overtake on the outside of Turn 3 during the previous race at the Red Bull Ring. Verstappen was hit with a 10-second penalty by the stewards for causing a collision, with both drivers suffering a puncture.

However, the Red Bull star was able to limp back to the pits and change for a fresh set of tyres, coming home to finish fifth, while Norris sustained too much damage to his car to continue. with Mercedes driver George Russell going on to claim an unlikely win in the final laps.

After the race, a frustrated Norris slammed Verstappen’s driving style following their epic battle for the lead, labelling his moves “reckless” and claiming he moved under braking, which is against the FIA regulations.

Lando Norris at the 2024 Austrian GP | McLaren F1 Team
Lando Norris was furious at Verstappen at the 2024 Austrian GP | McLaren F1 Team

But ahead of the British GP, Norris attempted to cool the war of words by retracting his original comments about Verstappen.

“I think some of the things I said in the [media] pen after the race were just more because I was frustrated at times,” Norris told the written press at Silverstone, including Total-Motorsport.com. “A lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotions, and I probably said some things I didn’t necessarily believe in, especially later on in the week.”

Norris: Verstappen doesn’t need to apologise

The coming-together looked almost inevitable after Norris had made several moves to overtake the championship leader, with only one sticking before the Dutchman immediately got past him using DRS.

Norris explained that his main frustration was with the aftermath of the incident, which cost him 18 valuable points in the drivers’ standings.

“It was a pretty pathetic incident in terms of what ended both our races. It wasn’t a hit, it wasn’t an obvious bit of contact,” Norris said. “It was the probably the one of the smallest bits of contact you could have, but with a pretty terrible consequence for both of us, especially for myself.”

Norris later revealed that the pair – who are good friends outside of F1 – called each other on Monday and Wednesday to ensure they were on the same page. But the 24-year-old, who indicated Verstappen did not apologise for the move that brought an end to his race, insisted he did not need to say sorry.

“[Verstappen] doesn’t need to [apologise]. I don’t expect an apology from him, I don’t think he should apologise,” Norris added.

“I thought it was, as a review, good racing. A tense move and very close to the edge. But like we said, we’ve spoken about it. We’ve talked about it and we’re both happy to go racing again.”

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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