Max Verstappen opens up on Lando Norris phone call: Only thing I cared about

The two drivers have made amends after their controversial clash in Austria, with Verstappen providing details of their phone call on Monday

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Max Verstappen has vowed to continue racing Lando Norris “flat out” after holding talks to salvage their friendship, following their collision at the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix.

Norris was forced to retire on Lap 64 from damage sustained during his clash with Verstappen when battling for the lead, with the Dutchman surviving a puncture to come home in fifth. The Briton hit out at Verstappen’s “reckless” driving in the aftermath of the incident, although the McLaren star has since backtracked on his comments.

The 24-year-old also confirmed he had spoken with Verstappen on Monday to discuss their controversial altercation, and Verstappen was pleased to resolve their differences to prevent long-lasting damage to their friendship.

“The only thing that I cared about is maintaining my relationship with Lando because we are great friends,” Verstappen told the press at Silverstone, including Total-Motorsport.com. “After the race, we have to just let things cool down because the emotions run high.

Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Rudy Carezzevoli / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen spoke to Norris ahead of the 2024 British GP | Rudy Carezzevoli / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“We immediately spoke [on Monday] and I think we came to the conclusion that we actually really enjoyed our battle, but we looked at the end and it was such a silly little touch that had great consequences for both of us, more for Lando with how his tyre punctured.

“But we like to race hard. We’ve done this for many years, not only in Formula 1, even with online racing and we had a lot of fun together. These things have to carry on because that’s what we like to do and I think it’s great for Formula 1 as well.”

Verstappen unfazed by criticism

Verstappen, who bluntly claimed he “doesn’t give a s***” about criticism aimed at him from pundits and fans on social media, was however keen to hear Norris‘ view on his behaviour and promised to battle hard but fairly in the future.

“I just said that we have to just stay calm and let things cool off a bit, we’ll look at the footage, and that’s what I did with Lando,” Verstappen added. “That’s the only one [opinion] that I care about because whatever anyone else said, that’s not for me. Everyone can have an opinion but I only look at the relationship of things and my relationship with Lando.”

Verstappen later elaborated on their conversation: “Naturally, I said to Lando ‘when you go for moves on the inside, the outside, you can trust me I’m not there to try and crash you out of the way’.

“It’s the same the other way because we spoke about that as well, because actually there’s always a human reaction when someone dives on the inside or outside that you have a bit of a reaction to it. But I felt everything that I did was nothing massively over at all.”

When asked if they will continue to have more battles in the future, Verstappen said: “We’ll go at it flat out. That’s what we agreed to because that’s what we like to do.”

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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