GPDA to discuss Verstappen-Norris crash at Silverstone

Wed, 3 July 2024, 10:16

Jul.3 (GMM) Alex Wurz, president of the Formula 1 drivers’ union, says Max Verstappen and Lando Norris’ highly-contentious crash in Austria will be discussed during the GPDA meeting at Silverstone ahead of the British GP.

Fellow former driver Johnny Herbert was one of the stewards on duty at the Red Bull Ring, who justified the penalty levied against Verstappen by declaring “It was Max’s fault”.

“He intimidates everybody,” Herbert, a former teammate of Michael Schumacher’s, told Coinpoker. “Lando did the right thing. He did not move. He did not have to.”

Red Bull’s F1 advisor Dr Helmut Marko, however, has been harshly criticising Norris’ “pathetic” reaction to the incident this week.

“In the future, he should consider that it might be a smart option to finish a race instead of taking incalculable risks,” he told f1-insider.com.

Former Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost agrees: “Does Norris seriously believe that Verstappen will put on his indicators because it’s Norris and allow himself to be overtaken so easily?”

A side issue is whether Norris and Verstappen’s friendship can be repaired. “I understand they’ve already talked,” team boss Christian Horner said.

“Of course, Max won’t change,” the Red Bull chief added. “I think Lando is learning to race with Max and they’re discovering it together.”

Horner’s McLaren counterpart Andrea Stella, meanwhile, thinks the FIA might need to clamp down harder on Verstappen’s on-track behaviour in order to avoid a repeat of the ultra-controversial 2021 title battle between Max and Lewis Hamilton.

“I understand what he means,” Grand Prix Drivers’ Association president Wurz told motorsport-magazin.com, “and it’s clear that we’re going to have to talk about it.

“But I would warn against too many extra rules. We shouldn’t divide every fight into commas and full stops. Then the sport becomes too much governed by the rules and descriptions of situations,” said the Austrian.

“I always come back to: Let them race. It’s exactly what the public wants to see. You can see that drivers can also get grumpy or hot-heated, but in the end the one who can keep the coolest head wins.

“Next time, both of them will think a bit more about needing to reach the finish-line. But this whole story has a history and it is far from over,” 50-year-old Wurz continued.

“I would have preferred that they could have fought hard together in the following laps, but they touched each other – so now we have enough to discuss.”

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