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'First fight' with Verstappen was a unique challenge for Norris

'First fight' with Verstappen was a unique challenge for Norris

06-11-2023 07:10

Lando Norris enjoyed the duel with Max Verstappen at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Brit was able to mount an attack on Verstappen, but just did not have enough excess to actually get past the Dutchman. That did not dampen Norris' spirits.

After the sprint race on Saturday, it was already clear that Norris possessed serious race pace. Although Verstappen won the sprint race and ran away from Norris at the end, the gap remained limited for a long time. This was the case again on Sunday during the Grand Prix, which even saw the McLaren driver briefly sit alongside Verstappen.

"Similar to what we saw in the sprint. I'm not far behind for the first 10, 15, 17 laps, but then that final phase, I just dropped off a bit too much," Norris said after the Brazil GP. For Norris, it is still guessing how it is that Verstappen can keep his tyres alive longer. For now the Brit is happy that he was able to mount a small attack.

Norris puts the attack on Verstappen

"I tried. We struggled too much in Turn 10, Turn 12. It's where the Red Bull is really competitive and we have struggled all weekend, apart from when we were on new tyres. Of course, on that restart, I used my new tyres and Max didn't. So I thought if I was going to have one opportunity, it was going to be there and then. Just a couple more metres would have been lovely."

"The opportunity to race against Max is only going to be for a few laps. It's not like we would suddenly find the pace to fight with him for the whole race. We weren’t going to find all of a sudden the pace we needed to compete against him for our race."

Norris doubts whether overtaking Verstappen would have made sense anyway. "To then try to keep Max behind for the rest of the race would have been a whole new challenge. So good that we're getting there. I had an attempt. I think that's one of my first attempts at really trying to race past him ever in my career, Formula One, which is a good thing. That last little thing needs to click and then we can do it more often," Norris concluded.