Lando Norris rubs salt into Red Bull wounds by laughing at Max Verstappen

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Lando Norris has admitted that he has laughed with Max Verstappen about his performance at the Singapore Grand Prix that saw the Red Bull star forfeit his unbeaten record. The Dutchman only managed to finish fifth at Marina Bay as Red Bull lost their flawless record, failing to win a race for the first time in 2023.

Verstappen was understandably unhappy throughout the weekend, with the RB19 simply unable to adapt to the track and leaving him with a significant recovery task. A poor qualifying session on Saturday saw him only end up 11th on the starting grid.

With the race therefore blown wide open, the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes pounced. Carlos Sainz finished a worthy winner, with Norris in second and Lewis Hamilton finishing on the podium for the 196th time in his career.

Verstappen could only manage fifth, though he has shared a laugh with Norris about the performance, the McLaren driver has revealed. He explained: “I don’t know what they struggled with but when I watched his onboard yesterday I kind of laughed because I’ve never seen a car that bad before.

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“Max also laughed about it. We’ll see next weekend, I think they’ll be back at the top.” Verstappen also believes that Red Bull will bounce back to form in Japan and feels that the Suzuka Circuit will play to the strengths of his vehicle.

Team principal Christian Horner shared a similar view, insisting that his team’s display in Singapore was commendable given that the introduction of a safety car caused Verstappen and Sergio Perez similar issues.

He explained: “The lap that the safety car came out in was probably strategically the worst possible lap for the strategy that we were on… The safety car completely screwed it for us.

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“Max was obviously picked off by the guys that had the free stop and then we had to take a pit stop under normal racing conditions, which then drops you another 23 seconds behind with that.

“So, all considered, the recovery that we had, and the pace that we had, particularly in the latter part of the race to be 0.2 [seconds] behind Charles [Leclerc] at the finish line was a very strong race.”

It remains to be seen whether Verstappen’s race in Japan will play out how he expects or if his race in Singapore was an indicator that the second half of the season won’t be quite as smooth sailing as the first half for Red Bull.

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