04 July 2021

Lando Norris hits out at Sergio Perez over ‘stupid’ manoeuvre

04 July 2021

Lando Norris called Sergio Perez “stupid” after an altercation with the Red Bull driver denied him a career-best second in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Norris delivered a brilliant display in the Styrian mountains to finish third and claim another podium finish in an increasingly impressive campaign.

The British driver kept Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at bay for the opening 20 laps, leading the seven-time world champion to hail his compatriot as a “great driver” on the radio.

But Norris’ hopes of finishing runner-up were thwarted after he was dealt a harsh five-second penalty.

Norris was accused of forcing Perez into the gravel on the fourth lap and his subsequent penalty allowed Valtteri Bottas to move ahead of him.

“It was a lot of fun, a good race, but I am disappointed because we should have been second,” said the 21-year-old.

“I thought lap one was just racing. He tried to go round the outside which was stupid. He ran off the track and I did not push him.

“Maybe Sergio doesn’t know that there is gravel on the exit of that corner and it is downhill and easy to run wide.

“He took the risk and not me, he didn’t commit to the overtake the way he should have done, and he put himself in the gravel so I don’t feel like it was my mistake.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner sympathised with Norris.

“I didn’t have a major problem with the Lando move, it was racing,” said Horner. “It was hard wheel-to-wheel racing.”

Norris, who was also dealt two points on his licence – leaving him only two away from a race ban – added: “Nothing I have done is dangerous.

Lando Norris celebrates (AP)

“Why should I deserve penalty points for someone going into the gravel? It is not what Formula One should be. It Is just stupid in my opinion.”

Norris’ third podium in nine races took him past the 100-point mark.

Fourth in the standings and with 101 points to his name, he has scored 61 more than his seven-time grand prix winning team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Norris, who qualified second, is the only driver to have scored at every round this year.

He continued: “It is the first time I have really raced against Lewis.

“When you have a car to perform and do well you have a chance against them, but it is hard to say that until you are racing him and going head to head. To be in that pack and fight for a podium was a very good feeling.”

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