McLaren criticism of Verstappen “improper and unfair”


Pink Bull System 1 crew boss Christian Horner has labelled criticism aimed toward Max Verstappen by McLaren counterpart Andrea Stella as “improper and unfair”.

Horner additionally insisted Verstappen is “not going to vary” his aggressive strategy after colliding with Lando Norris within the Austrian Grand Prix.

After sparring for a number of laps for the lead in the direction of the tip of Sunday’s race, Verstappen made contact with McLaren driver Norris at Flip 3, with each puncturing a tyre every.

Verstappen completed fifth after a tyre change, whereas the harm to Norris’s McLaren was too extreme to proceed.

Afterwards, Norris and his McLaren crew principal Andrea Stella have been extraordinarily upset with Verstappen’s aggressive defending ways, feeling the Dutchman moved beneath braking a number of occasions earlier than working Norris out of street on Lap 64.

However Horner says Verstappen “will not change” his strategy, suggesting Norris is now discovering out how laborious the world champion races.

“Definitely, from Max’s facet, he is not going to vary,” Horner advised Sky Sports activities.

“There’s a component, I feel, of Lando studying methods to race Max and so they’re discovering that.

“Inevitably, there’s going to be extra shut racing between the 2 of them because the automobiles look so shut over the forthcoming races.

Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, battle for the lead

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“Max is a tough racer – he is in all probability one of many hardest racers on the circuit and everyone is aware of that if you are going to race towards Max, he’ll give pretty much as good as he will get.”

Horner added that Verstappen and Norris had already cleared the air in personal after letting tempers calm down post-race.

“I perceive they’ve spoken already, I do not suppose there’s any problem,” he mentioned.

McLaren chief Stella steered Verstappen’s aggressive ways have been emboldened by his 2021 marketing campaign racing towards Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton, when Stella felt Verstappen wasn’t punished adequately every time he crossed the restrict of their title combat.

Horner thought that notion was unfair, though he accepted {that a} conflict between Verstappen and Norris “had been constructing” for the reason that Miami Grand Prix.

“He raced extremely laborious in 2021, he is a tricky racer, and he hasn’t actually been racing anybody for 2 years as a result of he is been out entrance a lot,” Horner mentioned.

“The battle between the 2 of them has been constructing over two, three, 4 races the place they have been racing one another carefully and laborious, and in some unspecified time in the future that was at all times going to spill over – and it did at Flip 3.

“He was punished in 2021 if he did one thing improper simply as Lewis, who he was racing so laborious that 12 months, was for issues he did improper.

“I feel it is improper and unfair to label a driver like that and I am positive within the warmth of the second it was irritating for Andrea, however that is simply powerful racing.

“He labored with Michael Schumacher [at Ferrari] for therefore a few years – he of all folks ought to know that.”

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