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Japanese Grand Prix 2022

Verstappen puts blame for Japanese Q3 incident on Norris

Max Verstappen feels Lando Norris must shoulder the blame for the incident in Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying.

Verstappen Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has put the blame on Lando Norris for their incident in Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying in breaking a Formula 1 drivers' "gentleman's agreement."

On their respective out-laps on the first Q3 runs, Verstappen was ahead of Norris through 130R, but was going slowly preparing for his flying lap - one that would eventually bank pole.

However, as Norris rounded 130R, Verstappen hit the throttle and swerved to the left from the racing line, blocking Norris.

To avoid a broadside collision at high-speed, Norris was forced onto the grass and took 10th in the session.

Verstappen has been summoned to the stewards at 17:00pm local time, with Norris believing a penalty should be incurred.

Verstappen blames Norris

Backing up is usually a problem into the final chicane at Suzuka as drivers try to find space for a fast lap, with a gentleman's agreement in place not to overtake into the corner.

However, it is usually broken, with Norris admitting that everyone ignores the agreement.

Verstappen though felt this was the root cause of the near miss - and Norris was to blame.

"It's a kind of gentleman's agreement that you don't overtake each other before the last corner," Verstappen told Viaplay.

"Everyone has their own tyre temperature and mine was quite low, but that was exactly how we wanted them.

"After 130R I suddenly saw that McLaren in my mirror and I wanted to get on the throttle to get ahead of him, but then the cold tyres caused the car to break out and he had to go through the grass a bit."

"Ultimately you create those problems yourself by screwing someone else and I don't think that's correct.

"In the second run he did it again."

Verstappen took pole, his fifth of the season by just 0.010s from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, with penalties ranging from a reprimand to grid drop possible.

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