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Max Verstappen

Horner frustration after Norris 'got his elbows out' on Verstappen

From a near-certain race victory to the aftermath of a crash. No wonder there's frustration.

Horner Saudi
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has conceded to frustration after witnessing Max Verstappen lose a near-certain Austrian Grand Prix victory following a late crash with Lando Norris.

Verstappen was in total control of the race until a slow pit stop at the end of lap 51 which allowed McLaren's Norris to erase a seven-second deficit and challenge for the lead in the laps that followed.

Norris made three attempts into Turn 3, complaining after two of them that Verstappen was moving under braking before another crack on lap 64 culminated in a collision that led to punctures on both cars.

Verstappen managed to return to the pits for fresh rubber but was handed a 10-second penalty for causing a collision en route to finishing fifth. Norris, however, retired in the pits due to additional damage to his car.

Reflecting on what unfolded between the pair, speaking to Sky Sports F1, Horner said: "It [the pit stop] didn't lose us the race but it put us in a compromised position.

"For me, it looked like there was enough space up there for Lando. He'd already had the violation with the four strikes of track limits."

That was referring to the fact that one of Norris' attempts to overtake led to him exceeding track limits, which was his fourth infringement and with it a five-second time penalty.

"It [the accident] was one of those things, and we'll bounce back next weekend," added Horner.

"[They are] Hard racers. Lando got his elbows out, and there'd been contact before with them. In the end, it cost both of them."

Bearing in mind it was Verstappen who collected a penalty for the collision, asked whether he was cool with the fact his driver's characteristically hard racing did not work out for him on this occasion, Horner said: "He picked up a puncture, he got a penalty, which I thought was harsh.

"That's racing sometimes. It's frustrating, particularly at this race. We had an incredible win yesterday, we were controlling the race today. That's Formula 1."

Reminded of the fact the incident had provided his great rival Toto Wolff with a victory as it was George Russell who mopped up after the incident, Horner said: "Congratulations to George.

"Nonetheless we can take a lot of positives out of this weekend, we've had a very strong car, two poles, a sprint race win, and I think Max has even extended his championship lead."

Verstappen's advantage over Norris is now 81 points.

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