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Lando Norris

Norris: Verstappen 'reckless, desperate and aggressive'

Lando Norris has pulled no punches in his condemnation of Max Verstappen's driving during the Austrian GP.

Lando Norris flat tyre Austria
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Lando Norris has accused Max Verstappen of being "reckless", "desperate" and "aggressive" following their collision during the Austrian Grand Prix.

The McLaren and Red Bull drivers were involved in a heated duel for several laps after Verstappen saw his seven-second lead wiped out by a slow second stop at the end of lap 51.

Norris tried on a few occasions to pass Verstappen into Turn 3, and often complained about the three-time F1 champion's moves in defence to keep the Briton at bay.

On lap 64 of the 71, however, it all came to a head as Norris attempted a manoeuvre around the outside into Turn 3, only for his Dutch rival to cut across. They initially banged wheels before attempting to turn in.

It resulted in the left rear on Verstappen's RB20 hitting the right front of Norris' MCL38, causing a puncture on the Red Bull. As Norris attempted to pass on the run down to Turn 4, Verstappen forced his rival off track, seemingly initiating a puncture to the right-rear on the McLaren.

Verstappen was able to return to the track after a pit stop, but for Norris his race was done due to additional damage sustained.

In the aftermath, the Briton pulled no punches. "There are rules for what you're not allowed to do and you're allowed to do, and he was doing things you're not allowed to do and not getting penalised.

"I expect a tough battle against Max, I expect aggression and pushing the limits and that kind of thing but all three times he's doing stuff which can easily cause an incident.

"In a way, it's a bit reckless, you know, it seems a little bit desperate from his side. It doesn't need to be."

Norris continued: "It was a bit desperate to do what he could to not let me passed. I know he's going to be aggressive, so in a way, I'm not surprised.

"I just expected tough, fair, respectful on-the-edge racing, and I don't feel like that's what I got."

As to whether he would clear the air with Verstappen, Norris replied: "It's not for me to say. It's for him to say."

In fairness to the title protagonists, it was their first incident as they have previously been able to keep their on-track duels clean.

On this occasion, Norris felt a line had been crossed.

"He's always been a bit like that," said Norris. "I respect Max a lot and what he can do but there are times when I think he goes a little bit too far, and I feel like today is a little bit of that.

"It's one incident, but at the same time I'm disappointed. He ruined my race and destroyed my car."

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