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Formula 1

Lando Norris Saw Max Verstappen Make a Safe Choice: “It Wouldn’t Have Been Smart if Max Had Taken on Hamilton”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

McLaren driver Lando Norris has faced a lot of criticism at the start of this season for extending his contract with the British team.

The man who has yet to secure a win in Formula 1 has turned down multiple offers from Red Bull Racing, leading people to feel that he’s “afraid” to compete against Max Verstappen on the same team.

This isn’t just because Norris extended his contract with McLaren, but also due to his driving style against Verstappen. During the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2023, the Brit was ahead of Max but neatly moved aside, which many fans saw as a favor since the two get along well.

However, Norris insists that this is not the case, just as the rumor that he is afraid of the Dutch driver. He has simply chosen not to join Verstappen now because it could be detrimental to his career.

Not because he thinks Verstappen is better, but because the three-time world champion is fully settled within Red Bull Racing. He notes that Max would not have moved to Mercedes during Hamilton’s dominant period either.

“I absolutely think I can take on Max and give him a good challenge. But I also rate Max highly, so it’s extremely difficult for anyone to take him on in his team and challenge him for a championship,” Norris starts with The Guardian, according to GP33.

“He could have moved to Mercedes at the time to take on Lewis, but would it have been a smart idea to do that? Probably not, and he probably wouldn’t be in a Red Bull now, which would have made things very different for him.”

Norris is not afraid of Verstappen

His decision to stay with McLaren has therefore been a tactical consideration by the Brit. He indicates that this decision was not made out of fear, as he does not harbor any when it comes to Verstappen. He actually wants to prove that he can take on the Dutchman and wants to give himself the best chance to do so.

“I’m not afraid of Max in any way. I actually look forward to taking him on. People rank him among the best, so I want to prove myself by competing against him. I look forward to battling with him, but for real position, not when he has a car that’s half a second per lap faster and just drives past me,” he said.

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