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Lando Norris

Brundle: Only thanks to Norris that Ferrari and McLaren avoided wipe out

The battle between Ferrari and McLaren went up a notch at the United States Grand Prix but, according to Martin Brundle, it could have gone badly wrong.

Norris USA 2021
To news overview © McLaren F1 Media

Martin Brundle thinks it is highly likely that the feisty battle between the Ferraris and McLarens in the United States Grand Prix could have ended in disaster if Lando Norris hadn't taken avoiding action.

The fight between the teams – in contention for third in the Constructors' Championship – began immediately on the opening lap of the race, with Norris and McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo going head-to-head with Carlos Sainz as they all battled for P5.

Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc was just ahead in fourth, and Norris has admitted that he had to back off from making an overtake so that he would not collide with the Monegasque. Brundle believes that, had the Briton not done this, all four drivers might have taken each other out.

"There was a fierce battle going on between the Ferrari and McLaren boys, who are very much focused on each other now," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

"On the opening lap at Turn 12, only because Lando Norris took a sensible pill did all four not have a wipe out.

"Leclerc would eventually pull 10 seconds clear for a fine fourth place, and Ricciardo's McLaren and Sainz's Ferrari would battle it out for the duration. There's just 3.5 points between these two great teams with five races to go."

Sainz and Ricciardo's scrap proved to be a talking point for both drivers. There was contact between the pair after Sainz attempted a move on Ricciardo around the outside of Turn 14 on Lap 47, leading Sainz to call the McLaren man's defence "dirty" over the radio.

This didn't seem to faze Ricciardo too much, though, as he later joked that he didn't mind the comment.

When it came to the end result, Leclerc maintained fourth whilst Ricciardo finished in fifth. Valtteri Bottas took sixth away from Sainz, pushing the Spaniard down to seventh. Norris came home in eighth.

The battle between the two teams will continue at the Mexican Grand Prix on 5-7 November.

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