Max Verstappen had a few giggles at Lando Norris’ expense following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, after the Briton scored McLaren’s first points of the 2022 season.
This year has gotten off to a horrible start for the Woking side and, despite looking particularly strong in the first pre-season test in Barcelona, brake issues coupled with a COVID-enforced isolation for Daniel Ricciardo limited Norris to 199 laps in the three days of running in the second test in Bahrain.
Having failed to score points in the first race of the season in Sakhir, both Norris and Ricciardo engaged in an entertaining midfield fight in Jeddah, with the 22-year-old scoring six points after the Australian had retired from the race due to a mechanical failure.
The McLaren driver himself joked after Bahrain that his P15 was the culmination of an “amazing race,” and he made light of his first points of the season too.
“I’m celebrating a P7 more than Max will celebrate a P1 at the minute,” he amusingly said on the F1 Nation podcast.
Verstappen then interrupted, sarcastically exclaiming that seventh place was a tremendous achievement for the struggling McLaren.
“You finished P7? That’s actually a good result!” he joked.
“It’s like a win for me, right?” was Norris’ riposte.
“Yeah, sorry,” the Dutchman replied with a chuckle.
Norris moved from Britain to Monaco last year and, now that he lives within close proximity to Verstappen, he had the privilege of travelling home on “Air Max.”
The 24-year-old joked that his friend would “have to pay money, like everyone,” before revealing that there may be an allowance for David Coulthard, who celebrated his 51st birthday on Sunday.
“DC is the birthday boy so he might get a discount,” he said, after Coulthard himself insisted “now I’m 49” as he refuses to accept that he is the wrong side of 50.
Verstappen jokingly affirmed that no alcoholic beverages would be consumed on the way home.
“No, we only have water on board anyway,” he added.
“We are really well-behaved professionals… sometimes.”
The drivers have been busy travelling in the last few weeks between the tests, the opening two rounds of the season, and other commitments, so Norris has not been able to spend an awful lot of time in his new Monaco apartment.
“I’ve not actually been there that much at the minute,” he said.
“A lot of days just preparing for the season and we’ve been away for the last three weeks or so.
“[I will have] a few downtime days, one day at McLaren and then off to Australia really on Saturday.”
Ricciardo suggested before the weekend in Jeddah that his team now have a better understanding of the issues that have been plaguing them in 2022, but whether or not they have found a definitive fix will be discovered in Melbourne on 8-10 April.