Something could go wrong – Lando Norris wants clarity after Max Verstappen crash

Lando Norris has urged Formula One’s stewards to rein in Max Verstappen’s driving or risk “something easily going wrong”.

Norris was speaking ahead of his home race at Silverstone this weekend, and just four days after his collision with Verstappen in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old British driver called Verstappen “reckless, stupid and desperate” in the wake of their dramatic coming together as they duelled for the lead.

But despite rowing back on his demand for Verstappen to apologise – after the two drivers staged clear-the-air talks on Monday – Norris said the Dutchman’s defensive tactics should not slip under the radar.

“Max has a very different way of racing compared to others and that is one of the reasons as to why he is a world champion,” said Norris, who is 81 points behind leader Verstappen ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

“It is clear how he races. It is tough, on the limit, and what I love. There are things I need to do differently but he (Verstappen) is not going to change too much. Could we have avoided the crash? Definitely. I could have used more kerb.

“There are things from both sides we could have done better or in a different way. Avoiding an incident from moving under braking is the biggest part of it. There could very easily be an incident that comes from such a thing and we have to be careful of that.

McLaren’s Lando Norris during a press conference at Silverstone
Lando Norris was speaking ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix (David Davies/PA)

“That is something the stewards and the FIA need to be aware of because something could easily go wrong.

“To a certain point you are defending, being aggressive and that is OK, but there is a point where there is a limit and that needs to be defined in a better way.”

Norris’ McLaren team principal Andrea Stella claimed that his driver’s race-ending collision with Verstappen was a result of the stewards being too lenient with the Red Bull man in his championship duel against Lewis Hamilton in 2021.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton, sharing the same sofa as Norris at Silverstone on Thursday, did not want to be drawn on Verstappen’s driving and claimed he did not concur with Stella’s position.

“I am sure Lewis would have agreed with it three years ago,” said Norris with a smile. “One hundred per cent.

“I am always going to stand up for Andrea. He is sensible with what he talks about. Certain parts are true, and on the whole I agree with him.”

Norris had called on Verstappen, who was penalised with a 10-second sanction for being predominantly at fault for the collision in Austria, to say sorry.

But on Thursday he added: “Some of the things I said after the race was because I was frustrated. There was a lot of adrenaline, lot of emotions and some of the things I said I don’t necessarily believe in.

“He doesn’t need to apologise and I don’t expect an apology (from him). It was a pathetic incident in that it ended both of our races. It was a small bit of contact, but with terrible consequences for both of us, especially for myself.

“Yes, I complained and said certain things on the radio, just as every driver would. But we don’t want to take away wheel-to-wheel racing and have too many rules.

“I have overreacted in a way, but clarity over certain things is what is needed. It was good racing, at times close to the edge, but we have spoken about it and we are happy to go racing again.”