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‘I messed it up’ – Norris rues ‘amateur’ move on Verstappen in Austria Sprint as he vows to take the fight again

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Third placed Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren attends the

Lando Norris was left ruing his failed overtake on Max Verstappen in an early battle for the lead during the Austria Sprint, with the McLaren driver calling his attempt “amateur” after Verstappen was able to retake the position while Oscar Piastri also snuck through for P2.

While Verstappen enjoyed a strong start from pole as the event got underway, Norris and Piastri battled for second place before the former looked to challenge Verstappen for P1 on Lap 5.

READ MORE: Verstappen beats Piastri and Norris to victory after epic Austria Sprint battle

The British driver made a move up the inside into Turn 3 to take the lead, but this was short-lived as Verstappen swept past again at Turn 4. With Norris’s exit compromised, this allowed Piastri to follow Verstappen and snatch second place from his team mate.

Norris continued to apply pressure to Piastri as the Sprint progressed, but ultimately had to settle for third while Verstappen claimed victory.

“A good race between us, especially with Max at the beginning was good fun,” Norris commented after jumping out of the car. “Probably some things I should have done a bit better in my battle, but I understand that.

2024 Austrian GP Sprint: Piastri snatches P2 after thrilling three-car battle for the lead

“The pace of the car was very strong, especially [at] the end of the race, and I had a good battle trying to get past Oscar, but just didn’t have enough speed with how much you lose in the middle sector with the dirty air.

“It was a good race, a good load of points for us as McLaren, so a good job to the team and of course Max and Oscar for the podium.”

Asked about the thinking behind his move on Verstappen, Norris explained: “A little bit like I saw in the end, I think once things settle in too much, once the tyres get too hot, it’s difficult to do too much, so I had to make the most of my opportunity.

HIGHLIGHTS: Catch the action from the Sprint in Austria as Verstappen takes victory from Piastri and Norris

“Then I messed it up and left the door open like an amateur. Like I said, some things to improve, but we’re there and we can definitely give them a fight tomorrow.”

When pushed on whether he and Piastri could have worked together more in an attempt to attack Verstappen, Norris felt that this was not the case.

“I don’t think so, honestly,” he responded. “They were fair to race, it was just too difficult to get past but the pace was good. I don’t think we would have had the pace to go with Max, I think he was maybe that bit too quick for us today. But tomorrow’s another day and we’ll try again.”

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes

Norris had to settle for P3 behind team mate Piastri

Piastri, meanwhile, had mixed feelings about his P2 result, with the Australian answering “yes and no” when asked if he was happy with the position.

“Obviously [I] finished one spot higher than I started, but just didn’t quite have the pace in the second half of that one,” the 23-year-old said. “[I] thought Max and Lando were going to pave the way for me to come through at one point!

READ MORE: Verstappen admits McLaren made things ‘difficult’ for him as he reflects on Sprint win in Austria

“But not quite, and yeah, some things to look at for this afternoon and tomorrow’s race, but we’ll definitely take the points, a really good haul compared to the other teams around us.”

Giving his take on the three-car battle for the lead during Lap 5, Piastri added: “I could see that they were battling quite hard, and into Turn 4 I saw the move was quite late. I knew that they’d be an opportunity on the exit.

“I was hoping I would get both, but just bided my time and tried my best. I think I had probably one opportunity to try and get Max the lap after, but just didn’t quite have the pace after that. With that one, being patient at the start paid off a bit.”

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