The dramatic collision between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix has caused a war of words between the drivers and their respective teams. 

Verstappen and Norris had been involved in a fierce battle for first place at the Red Bull Ring, with the Brit on his rivals’ shoulder for much of the race, as each complained about the other’s driving.

However, on lap 64 an increasingly-frustrated Norris tried to overtake the Dutchman again, but Verstappen moved over on the McLaren driver and they collided.

Norris was forced into retirement due to the damage caused to his vehicle, while Verstappen was handed a 10-second penalty, which resulted in him finishing fifth. 

Mercedes’ George Russell capitalised on the drama and was there to pick up the second win of his career on a tense afternoon.

The pair collided and Norris was forced to retire, while Verstappen received a 10-second penalty

Lando Norris (left) and Max Verstappen (right) were involved in a war of words after their dramatic collision at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon as they battled for first place

Norris (left) and Verstappen made contact during lap 64 of a what had been a tense battle

Norris (left) and Verstappen made contact during lap 64 of a what had been a tense battle 

And when informed over the radio about his penalty, Verstappen fumed: ‘That’s just ridiculous.’

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner added: ‘He didn’t behave correctly there Max, so you were unlucky,’ before he later told Sirius XM: ‘It felt like [Norris] was trying to cause something up at Turn three.’

Norris and Verstappen are great mates off the grid, with the pair regularly playing padel and going for meals together, but the Brit hit out at Verstappen and revealed that the collision could impact their friendship.

‘There’s rules and if the rules aren’t followed there’s nothing I can do about that,’ he said.

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George Russell wins Austrian Grand Prix after collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris

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‘What I was doing today was easily enough for the win. I’m doing a good job and happy with my efforts. I can’t do anything more than what I’ve done and I got let down today. 

‘Two times I managed to avoid it and then the third time he just rode into me. I’m just trying to enjoy my race, he was clearly slower in the end and he ruined his own race as much as he ruined mine. 

‘There’s nothing more I can do, I did my best and it wasn’t good enough but not through my own fault.’

Norris continued: ‘I don’t know (if it will affect our friendship). It depends what he says. If he says he did nothing wrong then I’ll lose a lot of respect for that. 

‘If he admits to being a bit stupid and running into me and being reckless, I’ll have a bit more respect. I was trying to be fair from my side.’

However, Verstappen, speaking before he was aware of Norris’ comments, defended his position. 

Norris slammed Verstappen and said it could impact their friendship unless he apologises

But the Dutchman defended his position and labelled his 10-second penalty as ‘ridiculous’

‘I always move my wheel before I brake and then of course you brake in a straight line trajectory,’ he explained. 

‘It’s always easy to say I was moving under braking but I think the guy in the car knows best. 

‘Everyone can have their own opinion but I’m the one driving. From the outside, it’s easy to judge and comment.’

The Dutchman also went onto criticise Norris’ attempts to overtake him during the latter stages of the race, before he hit out at his own team.

‘I felt sometimes like he divebombs and he’s so late on the brakes,’ he said. ‘I think it’s also just the shape of the corner which provides these kinds of issues sometimes.

‘It is what it is but it’s never nice to come together. I need to look back at what and how we touched. Of course we’ll talk about it. It’s unfortunate it happened.

‘This incident is just one thing. If you look at the race we did so many things wrong from our strategy to pit stops. We created it for ourselves. It became worse and worse to drive. We need to look into the car.’

Meanwhile, Russell was unsurprisingly in a much better mood than Norris and Verstappen after his first win of the season.

Speaking in the cooldown room, he quipped with Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri that is was a ‘cool fight’ between Verstappen and Norris.

However, Norris’ McLaren team-mate Piastri replied: ‘Only because you won the race!’ 

Russell – who was third before the collision – also praised the efforts of Mercedes as he said: ‘The team have done an amazing job to get us into this fight and you’ve got to be there to pick it up the pieces and that’s where we were.

‘I couldn’t believe how close were to Max and Lando, it was a possibility, you are always dreaming but as I said you are so proud to be back on the top step. 

‘The team have worked so hard, they’ve made so many strides since the start of the season. The last two races have been incredible so more to come.’

The collision on lap 64 came nine laps after Norris made his first bid for the lead at Turn 3 but Verstappen put his Red Bull on the apex to stay ahead.

‘He reacted to my move and you are not allowed to do that,’ protested Norris over the radio.

Three laps later, and Norris was at it again. He launched his McLaren down the inside of Verstappen at the third bend but carried too much speed into, and the world champion swooped back ahead of the next turn.

Norris was back on the intercom, taking angst at Verstappen’s tactics.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner also claimed that Norris was the driver in the wrong

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner also claimed that Norris was the driver in the wrong 

‘He cannot keep moving after I move,’ said the Englishman. ‘It is just dangerous. We will have a big shunt.’

With eight laps to run, an increasingly-frustrated Norris tried for a third time to take the lead. Verstappen ran off the road at the third corner in his defence and rejoined the asphalt with his lead still intact.

‘He has to give the position back,’ said Norris. ‘I was ahead on the apex.’

Verstappen hit back over the radio. ‘He forced me off again,’ said the Dutchman. ‘He just divebombed me. That is not how you overtake.’

The warnings of both drivers were not heeded, leading to perhaps the most dramatic moment of the F1 season so far. 

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