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Lando Norris laments lack of action from F1 bosses following clash with Max Verstappen

Formula One's failure to clamp down on Max Verstappen's driving in the past paved the way for his collision with Lando Norris at the Austrian Grand Prix, says McLaren.

Norris, 24, described Verstappen's defensive moves in their duel for the lead as "dangerous" prior to their explosive coming together with just seven laps remaining.

Norris, who has emerged as Verstappen's closest title rival, was forced to retire with damage, while Verstappen — despite being penalised 10 seconds by the stewards — recovered to finish fifth, extending his championship lead over his rival from 71 points to 81.

Norris subsequently called Verstappen "stupid, desperate and reckless".

Hamilton and Verstappen collided on multiple occasions during their iconic championship duel and speaking after Sunday's race, McLaren team principal Andrea Stella said: "We don't want to see another 2021.

"This was not a good point in Formula One racing. It might have been entertaining but not for good reasons."

Speaking on Sky Sports, Stella continued: "The entire population in the world would know who was responsible (for the crash) except for a group of people. But the problem behind it is that if you don't address these things honestly, then they will come back.

"They came back today because they were not addressed in the past where there were some fights with Lewis that needed to be punished in a harsher way.

"We have so much respect for Max and we have so much respect for Red Bull that they don't need to do this. They compromise their reputations, and why would you do that?

"The stewards found Max was fully at blame so it is not about racing in a driver's way, but about racing within the regulations, and the regulations must be enforced in a way that is effective because when a car is out of the race as a consequence of this accident, the punishment needs to be proportionate to the outcome."

Verstappen, 26, who was also hit with two points on his licence, stopped short of issuing an apology to Norris — although the triple world champion did vow to clear the air with Norris ahead of the McLaren driver's home race at Silverstone on Sunday.

However, the coming together is set to put a strain on their friendship.

Defending his superstar driver, team principal Christian Horner said: "It was harsh that Max got a 10-second penalty. When I watched the replay it looked like six of one, and half a dozen of the other. They were both racing hard.

"They will not play paddle tomorrow, but I am sure they will talk about it openly, I have no doubt about that.

"Friendships are put under pressure during hard competition, but there is a respect between them, and that is the most important thing."

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