Marko slams Lando Norris as ‘pathetic’ after crash with Max Verstappen

Helmut Marko slams Lando Norris as 'pathetic' after crash with Max Verstappen

Helmut Marko has termed Lando Norris ‘pathetic’ as he blamed him for Sunday’s crash with Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Red Bull boss Helmut Marko criticized Lando Norris’ radio remarks at the Austrian Grand Prix, calling them “pathetic” as the McLaren driver complained that Max Verstappen was moving under braking.

On top of that, the Red Bull director mentioned an odd shift in Norris and Verstappen’s behaviour towards each other that appears to indicate a breakdown in their friendship.

This comes after a collision between Verstappen and Norris at Turn 3 on lap 64 turned out to be the biggest incident over the weekend. The two had been leading the race handily, but the contact punctured their tyres and the latter had to retire while the former finished sixth.

The stewards found Verstappen primarily at fault and handed him a 10-second time penalty while Norris received a five-second penalty for going over track limits, although it was irrelevant given his retirement after the crash.

Tensions were high after the race as Norris slammed the Dutchman for constantly moving under braking and sending him off track during the race while Verstappen claimed he had been “divebombed” by the Brit.

However, it’s not just the drivers who were left fuming with Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko calling Norris’ complaints over the radio “pathetic”.

“Norris’s behavior on the radio was pathetic,” he told Austrian outlet OE24. “But things like that happen and I would write it off as a racing accident, although Norris was more likely to have overstepped the mark.

“Norris’ comments that Max should apologize are not very helpful. But they will meet to talk things out.

“They usually fly together, but this time they were travelling separately. So Max had a quiet return flight.”

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Their conflict comes as a surprise considering that the two are such close friends. Verstappen and Norris have been friends since their karting days in 2013 and are best chums on the grid, often travelling and dining together.

Last year, Verstappen called Norris his ‘best friend on the grid’ while the latter has vowed to learn Dutch. However, the latter suggested their relationship could be compromised if the reigning world champion fails to apologise.

“It depends on what he says. If he says he did nothing wrong, then I’ll lose a lot of respect for him,” the 24-year old said. “If he admits to being a bit stupid and running into me and just being a bit reckless, then I’ll have a small amount of respect for that.

“I expect a tough battle against Max. I expect aggression and pushing the limits and that kind of thing, but all three times we got close doing stuff which can easily cause an incident.

“In a way, it’s a bit reckless, a little bit desperate from his side. It doesn’t need to be. I respect what he does but sometimes he goes too far.”

Meanwhile his friend said: “Always move my wheel before I brake and then of course you brake in a straight line trajectory.

“It’s always easy to say I was moving under braking but I think the guy in the car knows best. I felt sometimes like his divebombs and he’s so late on the brakes.

“I think it’s also just the shape of the corner which provides these kinds of issues sometimes.”

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