McLaren blame Verstappen for Austrian GP crash: They don’t need to do this

Verstappen was handed a 10-second penalty for his collision with Lando Norris at the Austrian GP

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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was on fine form at the 2024 Austrian GP as he blamed Max Verstappen for his late crash with Lando Norris, before calling for a harsher penalty for the F1 world champion at the Red Bull Ring.

The Red Bull driver’s race began to fall apart in front of his eyes as he began to battle problems with a fast-charging Norris closing in, but on Lap 64 it was the integrity of his rear-left tyre that fell apart when he was given a slice of poetic justice for moving under-braking as he suffered a puncture.

As a result, the stewards decided to hand him a 10-place penalty but it didn’t really impact his race since he was too far ahead of Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas to feel the impact of the extra time, leaving Andrea Stella to claim the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

“The stewards found that Max was fully at play in this episode,” Stella told Sky Sports F1, as McLaren blamed Verstappen at the Austrian GP. “It’s not about racing in a driver’s way, it’s about racing within the regulations.

“The entire population of the world would know who is responsible except for a group of people. We have so much respect for Red Bull and Max, they don’t need to do this.”

“The regulations must be enforced in a way that is effective because when a car is out of the race as a consequence of this accident, the punishment needs to be proportionate to the outcome.

“We had before that episode, [Verstappen] twice, moving under-braking. So, I think it’s just evident that we have to enforce the way to go racing, because we want to have fun. We want to enjoy it.”

Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during 2024 Austrian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during 2024 Austrian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

How did McLaren and Red Bull crash at the Austrian GP?

Verstappen had moved twice under-braking in previous laps at Turn 3, which Lando Norris felt left him with no choice but to take evasive action until their inevitable collision finally occurred to destroy their hopes of adding to their F1 2024 championship tallies.

The crash came when the McLaren attempted to set-up a switchback move out of Turn 4, Verstappen put too much of a squeeze on and the pair had contact leaving both with damage as the prospect of a win vanished in seconds and Stella was under no illusions of who was to blame.

Likewise, neither was Norris as he slammed his friend and rival for the defending actions, adding he will be disappointed if the Dutchman doesn’t take responsibility before going on to say there are rules for a reason.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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