Max Verstappen “doesn’t give a s***” about critics; still mates with Lando Norris

“The only thing that I cared about is maintaining my relationship with Lando"

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12,…

Max Verstappen insists maintaining his friendship with Lando Norris is “the only thing” he cares about following their dramatic collision at the F1 Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen and Norris collided at Turn 3 on Lap 64 of 71 at the Red Bull Ring during a fierce late battle for the lead. 

The incident wrecked both drivers’ chances of victory, with George Russell picking up the pieces to score an unlikely win for Mercedes. 

Norris was initially critical of Verstappen and called for the Red Bull driver to apologise, though he backtracked on those comments ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Asked if he believes he has come in for some undeserved criticism, Verstappen told media including “I don’t give a shit about that. I go home, I live my life.

“The only thing that I cared about is maintaining my relationship with Lando, because we are great friends.”

Verstappen added: “After the race, I said we have to just let things cool down because emotions run high. We immediately spoke on Monday, and I think we came to the conclusion that we actually really enjoyed our battle.

“We were both, of course, we looked at the incident, it was such a silly little touch that of course had great consequences for both of us, and a bit more for Lando with how the puncture then evolved. But we like to race hard.

“We’ve done this for many years, not only in Formula 1, even in online racing where we’ve had a lot of fun together, and these things, they have to carry on because that’s what we like to do, and I think it’s great for Formula 1 as well.”

And the three-time world champion is confident the pair can remain friends despite their intense on-track battles becoming a more regular occurrence in 2024.

“We agreed with 99% of everything,” he explained. “That’s a lot I think already. 

"Naturally I said to Lando, when you go for moves up the inside, outside, you can trust me that I’m not there to crash you out of the way. The same the other way around, because we spoke about that as well.

“Naturally there’s always a human reaction when someone dives up the inside or outside, that you have a bit of a reaction to it. 

"But I felt everything that I did was nothing massively over the top.

“Of course like how you design the car, you try to go to the edge of the rules. 

"Maybe you find some grey areas here and there. And that’s the same how you race. Otherwise you will never be a top driver and you will never succeed in life anyway.” 

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