Lando Norris reportedly lashed out at a journalist last weekend during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after they described the McLaren driver and Max Verstappen as ‘BFFs’.
The 23-year-old made it perfectly clear to reporters that the Dutchman is not his “BFF”, despite the fact Verstappen has previously admitted that Norris is his “best friend on the grid”.
Norris and Verstappen are often seen with each other away from the circuit and have previously interacted with one another several times on sim racing, something they are both passionate about.
A friendship between the pair is clear, with both drivers having admitted earlier this year that they’d like to be team-mates in the future.
This is more likely to happen at Red Bull given that Verstappen is contracted until the end of 2028, whilst Norris’ deal expires in 2025.
Some even ponder whether the McLaren driver will enter the new regulations in 2026 alongside the three-time World Champion.
However, in terms of being incredibly close friends, Norris has quashed the suggestions.
“He’s not my BFF. Don’t ever say that again,” Norris told the journalist, as reported by The Express.
“We respect each other and we get along, kind of friends away, but that’s it. We just have a lot of respect for one another.”
Norris and Verstappen did duel at times during 2023, with their best battle having arguably been at the British Grand Prix, which the Brit led the opening laps of.
2023 was easily Norris’ best season in F1, as he featured on the rostrum seven times.
He’s a driver who Verstappen rates very highly both on and off the circuit, as the Red Bull star recognises how Norris is now fighting at the front “always”.
What Verstappen really likes about the British driver though, is how he’s just a “super nice guy”.
“I get on really well with Lando because he is just himself and normal,” Verstappen told the Daily Mail at the start of the season.
“He is my best friend on the grid. He loves what he is doing. I could see clearly from years ago in go-karting that he was very quick – though we never raced against each other. Everything just came to him really naturally as a driver.
“Good performances were not just one-offs or hit-and-miss; he was always up at the front. So it was clear he was always going to be here. Some people are quick but don’t know why or how to explain it.
“Lando knows what he is doing, and that is good for McLaren. When he first joined Formula One he was a bit overwhelmed. Lando can be a little shy but he is a super nice guy and you can see, from year one to now, how he has grown as a person – and that helps his performance because he has more confidence in himself.”