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Formula 1 British Grand Prix 2024

F1 drivers react to Verstappen-Norris Austrian GP crash

The Formula 1 drivers were asked about the controversial clash between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in Austria - hear what they had to say.

Norris Verstappen puncture
To news overview © XPBimages

The hot topic of conversation in the build-up to the British Grand Prix was Max Verstappen and Lando Norris' clash in Austria last weekend.

Verstappen and Norris came together while battling for the lead at the Red Bull Ring, forcing Norris to retire from the race.

Verstappen was able to remain in the run and took the chequered flag in fifth place to extend his championship lead, despite being slapped with a 10-second time penalty.

But what do the other drivers think of the incident? Many of them were asked about it on Thursday ahead of the British Grand Prix.

For the most part, drivers have played down the significance of the clash, with RB's Daniel Ricciardo highlighting there was no malicious intent during the battle.

You’re fighting for a win and you’re not just going to wave someone by,” Ricciardo said. “I think the contact, that can happen nine times out of 10 with no consequence. They’d been going back and forth, maybe the angle was a bit awkward. 

“The outcome was bigger than what was probably happening on track. Nothing seemed over the top. Was it over the edge? Probably? But was anything dangerous or reckless? From what I’ve seen, no.”

Ricciardo's ex-team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has a similar point of view.

“It was racing for me,” he stated. “It was next to no contact, it was the slightest of contact. I don't think you could have less contact. It was just obviously quite bad how they hit, both rims broke from that. 

“Usually you get away with that kind of contact. It felt it was all biffed up quite a bit and dramatic and for me, it was just racing.”

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc pointed to a similar situation he had with Verstappen in the past at the same corner.

“Looking at the images, I think we had a very similar situation back in 2022 when I was squeezing Max a bit on the outside and he had to go on the kerb,” the Ferrari driver said. “So I think it was avoidable from both sides.”

Lewis Hamilton, who has a well-documented history of clashes with Verstappen, would not be drawn into the subject: “I didn't think anything of it. I was more concerned about my race and enjoying the team's win.”

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

There is a sense of frustration, however, over the sense of clarity of what is and is not allowed when going wheel-to-wheel racing. 

“It’s frustrating that it’s always going back and forth with the rules,” said Haas' Kevin Magnussen. “I think maybe they just have to make it more free. At the end of the day Max paid, he got a penalty, which I guess was correct by the rules. 

“But at the end of the day, he got a natural penalty with his puncture. So it didn’t pay off for him to drive the way he did in that moment.”

Yuki Tsunoda detailed Verstappen's movement in the braking zone is a common tactic deployed by many drivers.

There are already rules, if someone moves under braking, they will have a clear penalty,” he said. “Max moved under braking but already Max was next to him. Everyone does it, to give some pressure to the other cars, to not let the other car easily switch their driving [line] to have a better exit. 

“Sometimes it happens, if you give too much pressure, the rear tyres or something have contact. I’m sure Max learned from that and won’t do it again in a similar kind of way.”

The subject is set to be discussed in the usual drivers' meeting on Friday - which may well extend the gathering beyond a reasonable time. 

“I’m sure we're going to have a two-hour-long driver briefing,” laughed Logan Sargeant. “I’ll probably be sleeping in the back by the end. But no, I'm sure it’ll be discussed.“

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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