Marko Hits Back At ‘Pathetic’ Behaviour By Norris

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images). // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202406290097 // Usage for editorial use only //
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images). // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202406290097 // Usage for editorial use only //

Dr Helmut Marko has hit out at Lando Norris following the McLaren driver’s crash with Max Verstappen in Austria.

Red Bull’s Verstappen was actually penalised for the high-profile incident, and large sections of the media have suggested it was a clear return of the Dutch ‘bad boy’ of the past.

And although Norris, 24, has been singled out as the most impressive young driver in the Formula 1 field at present, Red Bull consultant Marko was very unimpressed with the Briton’s post-race behaviour in Austria.

For instance, Norris exclaimed that unless Verstappen accepts total blame for the incident, his friendship with the triple world champion could be over.

“Norris’s behaviour on the radio was pathetic,” Marko has now told Osterreich newspaper.

“His comments that Max should apologise are also not very helpful. But they will meet to talk things out.”

Marko reveals that Norris and Verstappen did not share a flight, as per usual, after the incident.

“They usually fly together,” he said, “but this time they were travelling separately. So Max had a quiet return flight.

“Things like this happen, and I would write it off as a racing accident – although Norris was the more likely one to have overstepped the mark,” the 81-year-old added.

When asked if Norris’ inexperience at the front of the field was a factor, Marko answered: “Absolutely.”

Red Bull’s dominance has clearly now ended in 2024, but Marko says the team is determined to improve.

“We’ll hit back, we’ll bring an upgrade to Silverstone,” he said. “But as I always say, our goal is the world championship, and the Austrian GP helped us to achieve that.”

As for the high-profile public spat between Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and Jos Verstappen in Austria, Marko insisted: “I’m not playing those games.

“We want to win the championship, and to do that we need to join forces.

“As long as Red Bull gives Max a car capable of winning and there is a certain harmony in the team, he will always fulfil his contract.”

When asked if the situation might change if Mercedes is able to offer Verstappen a faster car, Marko replied: “If, if, if. At the moment, that is not the case.”

He rejected speculation that Red Bull has struck clear trouble with its own engine project for 2026 in collaboration with Ford.

“Guess who is spreading these rumours?” Marko said. “We are right on schedule.

“There isn’t a plan B. Our engine has to work. It will be exciting to see who will really be at the front. But in terms of horsepower, we will definitely be there.”

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