Norris ‘happy to go racing again’ with Verstappen at Silverstone after clearing the air over Austria clash

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren attends the Drivers Press

Lando Norris has shared his thoughts several days on from the collision with Max Verstappen that forced him to retire from the Austrian Grand Prix, with the McLaren driver calling the battle “good racing” as well as suggesting that he does not believe that Verstappen owes him an apology after the pair discussed the incident.

Verstappen had been out front for much of the race in Spielberg when Norris started to cut into his lead in the latter stages, following a slow pit stop from the Red Bull team. The Briton attempted several overtakes on his rival before they made contact on Lap 64 of 71.

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After both picking up a puncture and limping back to the pits, Norris was unable to continue in the race while Verstappen managed to rejoin. The Dutchman crossed the line in fifth, a position he maintained despite being handed a 10-second time penalty for the collision.

Norris was vocal in laying the blame at his rival’s door immediately following the incident. However, asked for his learnings from what happened ahead of the British Grand Prix, the 24-year-old commented: “We’ve gone over things a few times. I’ve learned many things.

“I think a lot of stuff I was anticipating and knew about. You’re fighting against different people, fighting in different ways at the top comparing to when you’re a bit further back, like we have [been] the last year or so.

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“But at same time, Max has a very different way of racing comparing to a lot of others, and that’s some of the reasons why he’s a champion. But, all in all, I’m excited to go again this weekend.”

Pushed on how Verstappen races differently, Norris spoke of enjoying their battle when he responded: “I think it’s clear, it’s not stuff I need to talk about. It’s tough, it’s on the limit. I think it’s what we love.

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“I thoroughly enjoyed the whole fight I had with him. Of course it was a shame things ended the way they did but, apart from that, things are clear from what you see on TV and I’m excited to go racing again this weekend.”

Norris went on to confirm that he and Verstappen has spoken since the incident and, when asked if the latter had apologised, Norris answered: “Honestly I don’t think he needed to apologise. I think some of the things I said in the pen after the race were more just because I was frustrated at the time.

“A lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotions. I probably said some things I didn’t necessarily believe in, especially later on in the week. It’s tough, it was a pretty pathetic incident in terms of what ended both our races!

TOPSHOT - Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (front) drives ahead of McLaren's British

Norris does not believe that Verstappen owes him an apology for their collision in the Austrian Grand Prix

“It wasn’t like an obvious bit of contact, it was probably one of the smallest bits of contact you can have, but with a pretty terrible consequence for both of us, especially for myself.

“He doesn’t need to [apologise]. I don’t expect an apology from him, I don’t think he should apologise. I thought it was good racing, at times very close to the edge, but we’ve spoken about it, we’ve talked about it and we’re both happy to go racing again.”

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In terms of his prospects for the weekend ahead at Silverstone, Norris acknowledged that the fight at the front is continuing to get closer, with George Russell having claimed victory for Mercedes last time out in Austria after being in prime position to pick up the pieces following the Norris and Verstappen incident.

“We’re on good form, we’ve been very close the last few races,” the McLaren driver said. “But Mercedes have been getting closer and closer. If you look back to last weekend, Mercedes were extremely quick, if not one of the quickest cars in the race.

“They’ve taken probably a few steps forwards from where they were. We’re in a good position but so are Red Bull, so [I’m] expecting a close battle between many of us.”


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