Christian Horner backs Max Verstappen in Lando Norris squabble: ‘He’s not going to change’

Red Bull boss Christian Horner insists Lando Norris must learn how to race Max Verstappen after their collision at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen and Norris came together on lap 64 of the race at the Red Bull Ring when vying for the lead. Both drivers sustained punctures, allowing George Russell to capitalise and claim victory for Mercedes.

Norris and McLaren team principal Andrea Stella were angry afterward, stating three-time F1 world champion Verstappen consistently broke the rules by moving in the braking zone during a few tussles late in the race.

Yet Horner, who has been the man at the helm since Verstappen progressed to Red Bull as an 18-year-old in 2016, defended his star driver ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

"I understand they’ve [Verstappen and Norris] spoken already, I don’t think there is any issue," Horner told Sky Sports News.

"Certainly, from Max’s side, he’s not going to change.

"There’s an element, I think, of Lando learning how to race Max and they’re discovering that. Inevitably, there is going to be more close racing between the two of them as the cars look so close over the forthcoming races.

"Max is a hard racer – he’s probably one of the hardest racers on the circuit and everybody knows that if you’re going to race against Max, he’s going to give as good as he gets."

Norris is set to enjoy a rapturous reception as a home favourite at Silverstone this weekend, a venue where Verstappen has been jeered in the past.

Christian Horner has defended Max Verstappen after the Austrian Grand Prix (Getty Images)
Christian Horner has defended Max Verstappen after the Austrian Grand Prix (Getty Images)

"I’m sure it’s going to be a partisan crowd for the British drivers as it is for Max in Holland, but I think whenever we go to those tracks there is always respect for the other drivers," Horner added.

"I hope Max gets a reasonable reception and I’m sure it’s going to be all orange again this weekend - perhaps not Max Verstappen fans, more McLaren fans.

"That’ll be water off a duck’s back to him, he’ll have his head down and he won’t change. He’s the racer he is and I’m sure he’ll race just as hard this weekend."

Verstappen won last year’s British GP, ahead of Norris in second and Lewis Hamilton in third. Norris is yet to taste success at home while Hamilton has won a record eight times at Silverstone.