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Max Verstappen

Norris: Second Verstappen attack 'not worth it' in Brazil

The McLaren driver explains how a second move on Max Verstappen for the lead of the Brazilian Grand Prix would have impacted him later on in the race.

Verstappen Norris Brazil
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Lando Norris felt another move on Max Verstappen during the opening stages of the São Paulo Grand Prix was "not worth" a second attempt.

Verstappen got a better start than Norris during the second standing restart following a red flag, with the McLaren driver settling into second behind the Red Bull.

Seven laps into the race, Norris managed to close in on Verstappen and had an opportunity to pass him into the first corner using DRS. The Red Bull driver defended as Norris took to the outside, and proceeded to take a defensive line into Turn 4 to maintain the lead.

It was the only attempt from Norris to challenge for the lead, as Verstappen stretched the gap out to five seconds before the first round of pit stops.

While there was another opportunity to challenge of the lead, Norris felt it was better to consolidate due to the impending threat behind.

Norris: Keeping Verstappen behind a whole new challenge

"The opportunity to race against Max was only going to be for a few laps," Norris told media including RacingNews365.

"We weren't going to find, all of a sudden, the pace we needed to compete against him for a whole race, and Fernando was behind me.

"We knew that their race pace, especially when the majority of the time when it's high degradation and certain things that they can have very good race pace.

"He didn't have clean air and he was going to be in an opportunity, in a position to potentially just achieve a lot more and I didn't want to compromise my own race by having one more attempt."

Norris believes that even if he managed to make a move on Verstappen, maintaining the lead would have been a tough challenge against the dominant car and driver duo.

"At the same time, I was low on the battery and those types of things," he said.

"If you overheat the tyres too much too early you can pay the price quite heavily.

"I tried. It wasn't worth a second attempt as much as I would have loved to and I think potentially could have done. Just it wasn't worth the risk and potential consequences of then being in the hands of Fernando and the people behind.

"If there was a little bit more space, or if I was literally a couple metres further down, things could have been a little bit different.

"But at the same time, to then try to keep Max behind for the rest of the race would have been a whole new challenge."

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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