Lando Norris, a McLaren driver, denies that his friendship with Max Verstappen influences his racing decisions, explaining that he sometimes chooses not to compete against Verstappen due to strategic reasons, such as the likelihood of losing a position or damaging his tyres.
‣ Lando Norris, a McLaren driver, denies that his friendship with Max Verstappen influences his decision not to always compete against him in races.
‣ Norris explains that his decision is strategic and based on the realistic assessment of his chances against Verstappen, who often has superior speed and tyre degradation.
‣ He cites the US Grand Prix as an example, where he knew he would lose positions to both Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
‣ Norris asserts that his friendship with Verstappen is actually a motivation for him to want to beat him in races.
Lando Norris? Yeah, he’s confessed to sometimes consciously deciding not to challenge Max Verstappen. And no, it’s not because they’re buddies.
What’s the Real Deal with Norris and Verstappen?
Verstappen and Norris? They’re tight. They game together, party together, and even vacation together. But that’s not why Norris doesn’t always go head-to-head with the Red Bull Racing driver. It’s not personal, it’s strategic.
Norris knows who to race against and who not to. Take the US Grand Prix, for instance. “I knew I was gonna lose positions to both Lewis and Max,” he told Autosport.com. It’s about being realistic, you know?
Norris’ Realistic Approach
Keeping Max behind? Norris says it was a no-go. “He was way too quick, his tyre degradation was way better than everyone.” So, why waste energy defending a position he was bound to lose? It could’ve cost him more positions by wearing out his tyres.
But Lewis Hamilton? Norris defended hard against him later in the race.
Norris vs. Hamilton
Hamilton overtook Norris six laps before the end of the Austin race. “He was on fresher tyres, so maybe not the best reason to race against him, but there was a better chance of keeping him behind than with Max,” Norris explained.
And if you’re wondering, Norris would’ve loved to defend more fiercely against Verstappen. “I don’t want to ever give a position up to anyone! Especially not Max!” he said, grinning.
Norris’ Take on Friendship and Racing
Norris thinks people are too quick to assume friendship is why he doesn’t defend as fiercely. On the contrary, their friendship makes him want to beat Verstappen even more. So, next time you see Norris not challenging Verstappen, remember, it’s not about friendship, it’s about strategy.