Lando Norris rushes to Max Verstappen’s defence

McLaren racer Lando Norris has rushed to defend Red Bull driver and potential future team-mate Max Verstappen.

McLaren’s Lando Norris has backed Max Verstappen’s assertion that Red Bull Racing’s RB19 car is not specifically designed around a single driver’s preferences. 

As Max Verstappen continues to dominate the F1 season with an impressive streak of 10 consecutive Grand Prix victories, remarks from Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff suggested that Verstappen’s success, in contrast to his teammate Sergio Perez, was attributed to the RB19 being tailored to his driving style.

However, Verstappen vehemently denied these claims, labelling them as “bulls**t,” while Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Sergio Perez both distanced themselves from the notion that the car was engineered exclusively for one driver.

Lando Norris echoed Verstappen’s sentiments, emphasising that the concept of designing a car exclusively for a single driver is not a common practice in Formula 1. 

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“It’s not down to the team to just make a car designed for a person,” Norris clarified. 

“Maybe that’s a perfect world. It’s our job to deliver no matter what the car is. 

“Max said something very similar after Toto made the comment about the Red Bull. 

“I don’t think you can just design a car for someone. It just doesn’t work like that.

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“It’s very much down to the driver to drive the car they’re given. 

“I think this way, if I end up being slower than my team-mates because of whatever reason, then I’m not doing a good enough job. 

“It’s as simple as that. 

“It’s the driver’s job. 

“That’s why we’re here.”

Norris stressed that an F1 team’s primary focus is creating a car that data indicates will be the fastest on the track. 

It is then the responsibility of the drivers to extract as much of that potential as possible. 

“I think what people fail to understand sometimes from the outside is that a driver’s job is to drive whatever car they are given as quickly as possible,” explained the McLaren driver. 

“Yes, you want the car to be nice to you and suit you. 

“But drivers get paid enough money to make the best of every circumstance. 

“Whether it’s a car they like, they don’t like, is tricky, is safe, whatever it is. 

“It’s our job to go and just drive what the team gives us.”

Furthermore, Norris emphasised his preference for a fast car that may be challenging to handle over a slower car that aligns perfectly with his driving style. 

“You can have a quick car and one that is great to drive but, at the end of the day, I will always pick driving a difficult car that’s quicker than a nice car that’s slow. 

“And I think we know that our priority is just to make a quick car. 

“If it’s difficult it’s difficult, then we can work on making it a better car to drive. 

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“But at the end of the day, I care what car I drive because I would love a nice car to drive. 

“But I would pick every day a quicker car over an easy car. 

“Because I think that’s our job.”