Lando Norris opens up on mental health struggles in F1 career
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The fallout from the Brazilian Grand Prix is dominating F1 talk this week, especially it seems, between drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. It proved a thrilling race at Interlagos, with Lewis Hamilton fighting back from 10th on the grid to take the chequered flag from title rival Max Verstappen.
The British icon passed the Red Bull man with 12 laps to go, but only after being controversially being denied an overtake 11 laps earlier when he seemed set to take Vertstappen on the outside at turn four.
The Dutchman wasn’t about to give up the lead easily though, and proceeded to run wide with a manoeuvre which forced both drivers off the track as they came perilously close to colliding.
At the time, FIA officials decided the incident didn’t merit an investigation, a call which Mercedes boss Toto Wolff later called ‘laughable’, with Hamilton himself sarcastically quipping “of course, of course” when he was informed over team radio.
However, footage released from Verstappen’s car after the race prompted Mercedes to appeal the decision of the FIA not to review matters, and both them and Red Bull were summoned to a virtual hearing on Thursday.
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Any subsequent penalties for Verstappen, 24, could have a major bearing on the title race, with the result in Sao Paulo cutting his championship lead over Hamilton to 14 points ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix in Qatar.
And it seems the pair’s fellow drivers have been deeply debating the controversy, especially McLaren man Norris and Ferrari driver Sainz.
The two have been playing golf together ahead of Friday’s first practice session and took some time out whilst on the tee to give their views. It is a matter particularly relevant to Norris, 22, who in Austria was given a five second penalty for a similar incident with Sergio Perez.
Asked about the notion of ‘letting them race’, he told Sky Sports “It’s actually a difficult one to answer. We [him and Sainz) were actually speaking about this earlier…,” at which point the Mexican butted in with “we had about nine hours speaking about it.”
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He added drivers needed to use this week’s meeting to discuss the issue, and how to “make the sport better.”
Verstappen himself, who did not attend the virtual hearing, also spoke briefly to Sky Sports on Friday, and was dismissive of the threat of further action.
“Since they [Mercedes] were disqualified [from qualifying in Brazil] they were going to complain about everything. I came second in Brazil, that’s it, and I’m happy to be here.”
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