Dr Helmut Marko has given Lando Norris a good laugh after the McLaren driver heard Marko’s complaint following qualifying in Portimao.
Norris was preparing for a push lap when he had Verstappen on a flyer behind him and was told via team radio “not to do him any favours” as the Red Bull racer approached.
As it turned out, Norris did not do anything to disrupt Verstappen’s lap and got well out of his way, but that did not stop Marko suggesting Mercedes, Red Bull’s main rivals and McLaren’s engine supplier, were behind the call to try and make life difficult for Verstappen.
Norris, though, saw the funny side and said there was absolutely nothing to Marko’s claims.
“I saw these comments, I found them pretty funny,” Norris told reporters in Portimao.
“For some reason, he blamed it on Mercedes. So I got no clue what he’s talking about. Why would Mercedes have anything to do with it?
“I think he was obviously a bit annoyed that a Mercedes qualified ahead of them. Any team boss isn’t going be happy with that.
“I mean, Max didn’t lose the time in sector one or sector two, he messed it all up in sector three. So everyone went slower on the second stint apart from the people who went old new and that’s because the conditions got worse.
“So maybe they’ve just been blindsided, not looking at that. But yeah, I did nothing wrong.”
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Norris has made a fantastic start to the 2021 season, finishing in the top five in all three races so far and occupies P3 in the Drivers’ Championship.
The British driver says his confidence is at an “all-time high” as he looks to keep the run going at the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.
He said: “It’s [my confidence] definitely at an all-time high over the past three years, not just on track but in the paddock, working with the team and everything, they’re doing a very good job.
“Confidence in myself and confidence in the team is going well and we’re just executing everything we need to be executing at the moment. The strategy, a good start, good opening lap on my behalf, so things are going well.
“But they could very easily go in the wrong direction so we have to keep working and keep pushing hard.”