“I’m sure it will” - Lando Norris expects F1 rivalry will impact Max Verstappen friendship

Lando Norris responds to questions about his friendship with Max Verstappen and how it'll potentially change in the future.

Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing Lando Norris (GBR), McLaren F1 Team Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand
Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing Lando Norris (GBR), McLaren F1 Team …

Lando Norris is prepared for his friendship with Max Verstappen to take a hit if the pair go head-to-head for regular F1 victories.

Norris clinched his maiden F1 victory last time out at the Miami Grand Prix.

While Norris inherited the lead through fortuitous circumstances due to the Safety Car, he was a worthy winner given he was able to beat Verstappen by over seven seconds.

McLaren are on an upward trajectory and are hopeful they are able to challenge Red Bull on a regular basis, and perhaps mount a serious title challenge in 2025.

Reflecting on a possible rivalry with Verstappen, who he celebrated with in a Miami nightclub after winning, Norris conceded that his relationship with the Dutchman might change.

“I’m sure it will [change],”he told Sky Sports. Like, I don’t want to say it in a bad way. We have respect for one another, we get along.

“We’re not best friends. We don’t text each other every day, that kind of thing.”

“But we just have a lot of respect from him to me and me back to him. So I look forward to it. I want to challenge him, I want to race against him, I want to battle because I think he’s one of the best drivers ever in Formula One, so if I can prove myself against him, I’m proving myself against one of the best, and that’s exactly what I want to do.”

It was a long wait for Norris before taking his maiden F1 victory.

Norris went close in Russia 2021 but a late switch to the intermediates handed the win to Lewis Hamilton.

McLaren boss Andrea Stella believes not winning was a weight on Norris’ shoulders.

"I think [not winning] was a bit of a weight on his shoulders, but it was a weight on our shoulders as well ," Stella explained.

"We knew as soon as we made winning material available to Lando, he would have delivered. So we felt the responsibility and I have said that many times, that it is up to us, it is not up to Lando.

"But credit to Lando, he kept developing over the winter, especially looking at improving in qualifying and delivering laps that sometimes don't have to be 100% when you have a fast car, just be there. I think he is doing that."

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