Norris rejects that Red Bull F1 builds car around Verstappen: “It just doesn’t work like that”

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Photo credit: McLaren Racing

While the 2023 World Drivers’ Championship is almost rounded up in the most dominant fashion by Max Verstappen, there has been some commentary on the gap he has on teammate Sergio Pérez, who is more than 170 points behind at the moment. Some, amongst them Mercedes teamboss Toto Wolff, have claimed this is due to Red Bull Racing developing the car around the Dutchman. Others, like friend and McLaren driver Lando Norris, refute this.

“It’s not down to the team to just make a car design for a person,” Norris explained to “Maybe that’s a perfect world. It’s our job to deliver no matter what the car is.”

The young Briton, who is looking to get his fifth podium of the season in Qatar this coming weekend, backs up Verstappen that it is not really possible to design the car for just a single individual.

“Max said something very similar the other day after Toto made the comment about the Red Bull. I don’t think you can just design a car for someone. It just doesn’t work like that. It’s very much down to the driver to drive the car they’re given.

“I think this way, if I end up being slower than my team-mates because of whatever reason, then I’m not doing a good enough job.

“It’s as simple as that. It’s the driver’s job. That’s why we’re here.”

“For me, the most important thing is to make a quick car,” he explained the role of the team in this dynamic. “I think what people fail to understand sometimes from the outside is that a driver’s job is to drive whatever car they are given as quickly as possible.”

“Yes, you want the car to be nice to you and suit you,” he adds. “But drivers get they get paid enough money to make the best of every circumstance.

“Whether it’s a car they like, they don’t like is tricky, is safe, whatever it is. It’s our job to go and just drive what the team give us.”

On his own preferences he’s quite clear: having a quick diva is better than a stable car that lacks pace.

“You can have a quick car and one that is great to drive but at the end of the day, I will always pick driving a difficult car that’s quick than a nice car that’s slow.

“And I think we know that our priority is just to make a quick car. If it’s difficult it’s difficult, then we can work on making it a better car to drive.

“But at the end of the day, I care what car I drive because I would love a nice car to drive. But I would pick every day a quicker car over an easy car. Because I think that’s our job.”