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McLaren

McLaren launches attack on Verstappen's record after Norris contact

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris collided late on in the Austrian Grand Prix.

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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has attacked Max Verstappen's record after the late collision between the Red Bull and Lando Norris.

For much of the Spielberg race, Verstappen looked set for a comfortable victory, but a slow pit-stop on Lap 52 for the world champion allowed for Norris to begin a late charge for the win. 

The two ran off track in their battle, but on Lap 64, Norris tried to move to the outside of the Dutchman to cut back and get a better exit for the drag to Turn 4 - but Verstappen appeared to move in the braking zone.

The left-rear of the Red Bull was punctured with Norris's right-hand side tyres as the McLaren retired from the race, with Verstappen finishing fifth, picking up a 10 second time penalty, although it did not change his position. 

He was also handed two penalty points, as Stella attacked Verstappen's record of previously moving in braking zones - most infamously during the title run-in against Lewis Hamilton in their white-hot 2021 battle.

"I think that the entire population of the world would know who is responsible, except for a group of people," Stella told Sky Sports F1. 

"The problem is that if you don't address these things, honestly they will come back - and they have come back today because they were not addressed properly in the past when there were some fights with Lewis that needed to be punished in a harsh way. 

"You learn how to race in a certain way, then we can concede fair and square.

"We have so much respect for Red Bull, so much respect for Max that they don't need to do this. 

"They don't need to do this. It is a way to compromise your reputation. Why would you do that?"

Verstappen to blame

Stella also called for the stewards to take "proportional" action against drivers in a similar position to Verstappen in putting another driver out of the race.

"For us, Max is fully to blame for this episode - so it is not about racing, it is about racing within the regulations," he said.

"The regulations must be enforced in a way that is effective because when a car is out of the race as a consequence of the accident, the punishment needs to be proportionate to the outcome. 

"We have had this twice before, moving under braking, so it is just evident that we have to enforce the way to go racing because we want to have fun and enjoy it."

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