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Jenson Button

Button offers 'controversial' opinion of Verstappen-Norris clash

Jenson Button has shared his view of the race-altering Austrian GP crash between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, arguing Norris could have perhaps done more during to prevent the incident.

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Jenson Button has weighed in on the contentious collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris that threw the Austria Grand Prix to George Russell.

The Dutchman was handed a 10-second time penalty after his movement under braking into Turn 3 saw the Red Bull and McLaren bang rear wheels. 

Both suffered punctures with the British driver forced into retirement. After limping back to the pits, Verstappen managed to salvage a fifth-place finish.

In the aftermath of the incident, the McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was quick to argue that past inaction from the stewards has emboldened the Red Bull driver - who has gained a reputation for sometimes over-robust tactics during wheel-to-wheel racing.

To Button, however, the penalty was fair, with the 44-year-old going one step further and suggesting there was more Norris could have done to prevent contact.

"There's a lot of talk about Max - on him moving in the braking zone, and should he have had a bigger penalty than he had," the 2009 F1 drivers' champion told Sky Sports F1.

"Might be controversial, but I don't think he should've. I think that when he braked, he slightly went to the left. Sometimes that happens. You'll be looking to the right and you might move to the left a little bit.

"I think he moved to the left because Lando was there, which is the issue - and that's why he got a 10-second penalty. Lando also could've moved to the left, there was a lot more circuit to go, and avoided the contact."

Verstappen-Norris clash 'sets up' British GP

To support his claim, Button drew upon evidence from last season's Austrian Grand Prix, citing an example that involved Verstappen in the opposite position.

The 15-time grand prix winner ultimately called the collision "hard racing" between the Norris and the Dutchman, whilst acknowledging how good a budding rivalry between the pair would be for F1 and setting out his Silverstone prediction.

"Something very similar happened in 2023 - last year in Austria, exactly the same corner, and it was Carlos Sainz on the inside and Max Verstappen on the outside.

"Carlos moves to the left, exactly like Max does [this year], and Max moves a little bit with him, follows him to the left, runs on the kerb and they don't make contract.

"So, it's hard racing. Yeah, sometimes it goes wrong and we talk about for a long time after, but it's great that we're talking about it, because these two are going to be fighting for years to come, I think.

"It sets us up nicely for the British Grand Prix, and it will be these two fighting for the win [at Silverstone]."

Also interesting:

In the latest RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian, Sam and Nick discuss the Austrian GP and look ahead to the British GP. Max Verstappen and Lando Norris' shocking clash is a HUGE talking point, as is Toto Wolff's radio blunder!

Rather watch the podcast? CLICK HERE!

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