Expert verdict delivered on Max Verstappen vs Lando Norris rule-breaking battle

Four incidents between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in Austria assessed

Lando Norris, Max Verstappen
Lando Norris, Max Verstappen

The controversial scrap between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris at the F1 Austrian Grand Prix has been expertly broken down.

Contact with Verstappen forced Norris out of the race at the Red Bull Ring.

The McLaren driver later blamed Verstappen for “reckless” driving and said “I got taken out”.

Sky Sports’ Anthony Davidson broke down their battle into four stages to deliver a clear verdict on where the fault lies.

The first incident

Davidson explained: "This is the first one, on Lap 55, coming up to the braking zone.

"You can brake into the hairpin just after the 100m board. You are still flat-out at 150m.

"Norris, as he moves out, coming up to the 100m board, he rolls the car to the right.

"Now, Verstappen is on the brakes. He’s still in a straight line.

"Norris has shown his hand, shown where he’s going.

"Verstappen has seen in the mirror. He’s moving in the braking zone. Guilty as charged, as far as I’m concerned!

"Max is lucky he didn’t get contacted. Lando did well to avoid it.

"There was definite moving in the braking zone and that isn’t allowed in the rules.

"They wrote that rule because of Max! It doesn’t get clearer than that!"

The second incident

"Lap 59, we’re at it again," Davidson analysed. "This time, Lando moves earlier. It’s more subtle this time.

"Max is moving, Lando is braking too late, he has locked up the inside front. Lando, it was a late move. I think he would have gone off the track anyway.

"He gave up position when he came back onto the circuit.

"That was a miscalculation from Lando’s point of view.

"Max, there is still movement under the braking, but it was much more subtle. It was just about okay…"

The third incident

"Lap 63, Lando has lost a little bit of confidence in who he’s racing," Davidson said.

"He should have stayed closer to Max but he’s lost confidence.

"So, he goes purposely much closer than he should have done into that corner.

"But he gets the braking spot on. He doesn’t go off track. I don’t feel like he pushed Max off track either.

"Lando has judged this correctly here. It was a little unfair for Lando."

The fourth incident

"Lap 64, this is when it came to blows," Davidson said.

"This was the move that would have won Lando the race. He had forced his opponent off line.

"He’s on the racing line to slingshot. He is behind the Red Bull but is going to get DRS when he exits the corner. It was looking good to slingshot, be back on the inside on the exit, and challenge into Turn 4.

"This was the move that was going to win him the race.

"He’s got a car’s width. This is the rule. If you move to the inside you have to give a full Formula 1 car’s width to the white line.

"There isn’t a car’s width. I rest my case."

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