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Formula 1 Austrian GP

Verstappen: "Awful" Red Bull F1 race enabled Norris Austria collision

Red Bull's world champion rued the race strategy, poor pitstops and fading car balance in Austria

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Max Verstappen says Red Bull put itself in the fight with Lando Norris by doing "everything wrong" in an "awful" Austrian Grand Prix.

Polesitter Verstappen looked set to dominate proceedings at the Red Bull Ring, building up an eight-second gap, until a string of slower pitstops brought second-placed Norris back into striking range.

Norris then enjoyed a tyre life advantage in the final stint that allowed him to reel Verstappen in and battle the Red Bull driver for the lead, which ended in tears on Lap 64 with a collision at Turn 3.

Both drivers pitted for rear-tyre punctures but in Norris's case, the damage to his McLaren was too severe to continue, while Verstappen finished fifth despite a 10-second penalty for causing the contact.

Verstappen rued Red Bull doing "everything wrong" during the race with its race strategy and pitstop execution, which he felt gave Norris a chance to put him under pressure in the first place.

"The first stint was quite good, but at the end I caught quite a bit of traffic, which we should have just boxed for me because I just gave up free lap time," he explained.

"We basically did a lot of things wrong today. It started with the strategy, then the pitstops were a disaster. The first one was already bad, the second one was even more of a disaster.

"That's six seconds over those two pitstops that you give away, and then of course it's a race again.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, leads Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, leads Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"And that's why I think also we put ourselves in that position. We did everything wrong that we could have done wrong. Today has just been awful."

Verstappen was also puzzled why after such a strong first half of the race his car's driving behaviour deteriorated to the point where he felt it was "undriveable" in the final stint on scrubbed medium tyres.

"I don't know why, but the car just started to become worse and worse throughout the race, so that is also something that we have to look into maybe, that something broke on the car," he added.

"I honestly have no explanation why suddenly the car just transformed from an okay balance to just undriveable behaviour afterwards, which normally indicates that something was also wrong.

"But even with that, we should have won today if we didn't make so many errors as well with the pitstops."

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