Lando Norris Accuses Max Verstappen of Taking the ‘Easy’ Route in Austria, Slams ‘Pretty Stupid’ F1 Rule

Lando Norris claims Max Verstappen “took a very easy route” out of their Austrian Grand Prix duel, veering off the track to maintain the lead prior to their crash at the Red Bull Ring.

And the McLaren driver has urged for a change to the “pretty stupid” regulation that resulted in him receiving a five-second penalty minutes before a dramatic collision with his Red Bull adversary.

Lewis Hamilton gives blunt answers when asked about Lando Norris and Max  Verstappen crash

Lando Norris says Max Verstappen ‘didn’t try’ to make a bend in Austria.Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper.

Norris and Verstappen collided while battling for the lead on Lap 64 of 71 in Austria last weekend, resulting in punctures for both drivers.

Norris was racing with a five-second time penalty for exceeding track restrictions when the collision occurred, and he was forced to quit after returning to the pits.

Verstappen, meanwhile, finished sixth, extending his points advantage over the McLaren driver to 81, despite receiving a 10-second penalty for triggering a collision.

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen: The end of an F1 bromance?The clash between the pair occurred one lap after Norris appeared to have grabbed the lead with a daring move under braking at Turn 3, but Verstappen took to the run-off area on the exit of the tight right-hander and returned ahead of the McLaren.

Speaking to media outlets like ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Norris claimed Verstappen “didn’t try” to stay on the track.

When asked if Verstappen should have been investigated for running off the track to stay in front, he replied, “Hm-hm.”

Formula One: Norris backs down in row with Verstappen - Omni sports -  Sports - Ahram Online

“To be honest, I believe Max could have made the corner. He didn’t try, which is perhaps the most important aspect of it.

“During this section of the battle, I did not pressure him. It wasn’t like we were side by side, almost pushing him off. He chose an easy way out of it.

“It is complicated. It is not as simple as saying ‘this happened, that happened’ and expecting a different result.

“Of the entire affair, that was probably the part that I nearly didn’t understand the most, and the space he had coming out of the corner was larger than what he had going in.

“So, in terms of him going off track and obtaining an edge, he was the one who did it in that situation, especially because I did not even push him off.

“There just needs to be some clarification on things and I think there needs to be consistency from this point onwards, because if that’s clear what we can do then I think everyone’s happy but it just can’t keep changing from one weekend to another.”

Norris, who previously backtracked on his requests for Verstappen to apologize in Austria, was irritated that he received a five-second penalty for racing wide in an effort to pass Verstappen on Lap 59, despite giving the position back to the Red Bull driver at the very next circuit.

The McLaren driver said the time penalty for losing position to Verstappen was “clear enough,” warning that F1 risks discouraging drivers from attempting to overtake if failed actions result in penalties.

He stated, “I received a five-second penalty for attempting to overtake and failing to do it appropriately.

“I didn’t even realize I had a five-second penalty. I wasn’t even sure why.

“We served the five-second penalty before retiring the car; I didn’t realize we done it until after the race.

“That is just common sense.” To be honest, that is quite ridiculous.

“I tried to overtake, but I locked up, went off the track, and had to avoid the sausage kerb, so I quickly lost the place back to Max.

“I probably lost a second and a half by doing that. It is a clear penalty, and I have lost out by doing so.

“It is just stupid. And these kinds of things will keep people from racing.

“If you don’t want us to race, don’t want me to try to overtake, and just want a dull race, you may have these rules.

“I’m sure it’s already been mentioned, but there’s a difference between going off track and gaining an advantage – and it’s the latter that’s most important – and going off because you’ve made a silly mistake or haven’t judged something correctly.

“The idea that I’m punished for that, especially in a racing situation and after giving up even more time, doesn’t make sense.

“It’s something I hope they fix quickly because I think it’s pretty stupid.”

When asked if McLaren should have demanded an investigation into the matter, he replied, “It’s difficult.

Max Verstappen claims Lando Norris' 'emotions different' from his over  fighting for wins in F1 – FirstSportz

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized that so much of it was just racing.

“Yes, I complained and said some things on the radio, as every driver does. If they say they won’t, they are probably lying.

“Each driver would do it. Max was doing it. I did it.

“But at the same time, I came away thinking it was a good race.

“It was difficult at times, and I wondered whether I had gone too far, but it was also rewarding. It’s what people want to see, and we wanted to do it till the very end. We want to do it till the last lap since it is what we enjoy doing.

“So we don’t want to take away the fact of just racing and going wheel to wheel and have too many restrictions in this situation, so I absolutely think I overreacted in some sense, but it’s also a new experience for me in many ways.

“So all that is needed is clarification on specific issues. Aside from that, I’m excited to go out and race hard like we did last weekend.”

With Norris losing ground to Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings in Austria, the British driver stated that the implications of on-track crashes should “definitely” be considered on some instances.