F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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Lando Norris joked about the difficulty of Max Verstappen’s win at the Belgian Grand Prix and praised the Dutchman’s ‘unbelievable drive.’ F1 returned from its four-week summer break with an underwhelming race at Spa-Francorchamps.
Heavy rain prevented any competitive racing, with the race lasting just two laps behind the safety car before being called off due to heavy rain.
This prompted Norris to see the funny side and shake hands with the race winner while Verstappen was being interviewed by Sky Sports.
“Great race, mate!”, the Brit declared. “Unbelievable drive! I was catching you!”
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“Yeah, it was really tough,” Verstappen replied before bursting into laughter.
The race start was delayed by half an hour before two attempts were made to finally get underway, albeit with a gap of almost three hours between them.
Conditions were ultimately deemed too dangerous and officials brought out the red flags after just two and a half laps behind the safety car.
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The result was declared from the starting grid order, while half points were awarded because two laps were enough to classify the event as a race according to regulations.
This meant Verstappen was given the race win – cutting Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead to just three points – while Williams’ George Russell and Hamilton rounded out the podium.
Norris crashed out of the third round of qualifying and so was set to start 10th, but a gearbox change meant the 21-year-old suffered a five-place grid penalty.
With half points being awarded, this meant Norris missed out on the half a point his qualifying position would have received.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz benefitted from Norris’ grid penalty to take 10th.
While it was hardly a memorable on-track spectacle, Sunday’s race will go down in history as the only F1 grand prix with no racing.
Following the dramatic and unprecedented scenes at Spa, there is good news for F1 fans – the Belgian Grand Prix was the first of a triple-header.
The Dutch Grand Prix is next weekend, with the highly-anticipated return of the historic Zandvoort track for the first time since 1985.
The third race in as many weeks will be the Italian Grand Prix as F1 returns to the site of Pierre Gasly’s dramatic win in 2020.
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