Max Verstappen tells Lando Norris to be ‘more respectful’

Max Verstappen took pole for the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will keep pole position after a lairy incident with McLaren’s Lando Norris in Japan.

The Dutchman had looked the quickest driver on track throughout the opening two phase of qualifying in Suzuka, and he was preparing for what would ultimately prove the pole run in Q3.

As Verstappen was crawling out of 130R, Norris passed him heading into the final chicane to gain track position.

As he did so, Verstappen was having a moment when he lost the back end trying to get heat into his tyres, so there was almost contact between the pair.

READ: Max Verstappen’s final run ruined after he damaged his car

The Briton did brilliantly to avoid it, and after they had finished their first laps in the top 10 shootout, Verstappen pulled up alongside Norris to wave a hand of apology.

The stewards decided to investigate the incident after the session, at the end of which Verstappen damage the rear of his car by going over the kerb on the exit of Turn Two.

This prevented the reigning champion from improving on his first lap, but it mattered not, as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, despite lowering their lap times, were unable to snatch first.

Norris fell to 10th, ultimately qualifying one position ahead of team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, with Alpine gaining the edge over the British side by qualifying fifth and seventh through Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, respectively.

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In the press conference after qualifying, Verstappen was unsure why Norris wanted to pass him so late in the lap.

“We were all on out-lap and we were all lining up to try and create a gap to everyone, and somehow he still wanted to get me into the chicane,” he said.

“I was at the point of accelerating but I was on very cold tyres, so I had like a little moment and that’s why he had to drive around me.

“But if you’re just a bit more respectful then everyone is anyway already lining up, I don’t think anyone is trying to pass into that last chicane. 

“So basically, by trying to pass me, you create that kind of problem.”

READ: Japanese GP: Max Verstappen and Lando Norris facing grid penalties

Formula 1 journalist, Chris Medland, quoted Norris as saying that Verstappen’s actions constituted something that “you cannot do,” and the stewards agreed.

They have reprimanded the 31-time race winner, who is confirmed as Sunday’s polesitter.

A win with the fastest lap this weekend guarantees Verstappen his second world championship.