<script async src="https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js?client=ca-pub-1244273282732907" crossorigin="anonymous"> Lando Norris accuses Max Verstappen of trying to block him in qualifying near miss - usanewsmart
Lando Norris accuses Max Verstappen of trying to block him in qualifying near miss

Lando Norris accuses Max Verstappen of trying to block him in qualifying near miss


Lando Norris has accused Max Verstappen of intentionally trying to block him ahead of their Q3 qualifying laps at the Japanese Grand Prix after the pair nearly collided on track.

The two drivers were preparing for their first flying lap in Q3 when Norris moved to pass Verstappen ahead of the final chicane to start his lap ahead of the Red Bull.

As Norris moved to pass Verstappen, the Red Bull driver appeared to lose the rear of his car under power and slid towards the McLaren, forcing Norris onto the grass.

The incident was investigated by the stewards after the session for a breach of Article 33.4, which outlaws erratic or potentially dangerous driving, leading to a reprimand for Verstappen. The decision means Verstappen will keep pole position for Sunday’s race as he attempts to clinch his second title at Suzuka.

In their reasoning for not handing out a more severe penalty, the stewards said: “All previous breaches of this nature have resulted in a Reprimand hence a similar penalty is imposed in this case.”

Speaking before the stewards’ decision, Norris said Verstappen had intentionally tried to block him when he came past.

“It was quite clear he tried to do that, yeah,” Norris told Sky Sports.

“There’s no rule on what you can do, but doing what he did is something that you cannot do. People always overtake before the last corner, as much as everyone always agrees to it, everyone always does it, so it doesn’t matter.

“He probably would have done the same if he was in my situation, but I wouldn’t have swerved at him if I was in his situation.”

Verstappen said the incident would not have happened if Norris had shown “more respect”, making reference to a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ among drivers that they do not change position in the final part of the lap.

“We were on our outlap and we were all lining up to create a gap to everyone and then somehow he still wanted to get me into the chicane, but I was on the point of accelerating and I was on very cold tyres,” Norris said. “So I had a little moment and that’s why he had to drive around me.

“But if he had just a bit more respect for me, because everyone is anyway lining up and I don’t think anyone is trying to pass into that last chicane, so by trying to pass me you create that kind of thing.”


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