WATCH: Norris Calls Max Verstappen a ‘Muppet’ in Hilarious Red Bull-McLaren Paper Plane War After Portimao F1 Incident

Published 05/05/2021, 1:31 PM EDT
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren F1 talks in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


While Daniel Ricciardo is arguably the funniest F1 driver on the grid, little joker Lando Norris isn’t far behind. But this weekend in Portugal, he was caught up in controversy when Red Bull accused him of deliberately blocking Max Verstappen in qualifying.

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However, by the looks of it, both parties seem to have brushed the incident off in a rather comical manner. During this week’s McLaren unboxed, the crew at Red Bull were filmed throwing a paper plane at Lando Norris. It read, “Don’t get in our way, again.”

Naturally, Lando wasn’t going to ignore it without a proper response. On the same piece of paper, he wrote back and name-called Max Verstappen, “Don’t start the lap so close. Wouldn’t have been pole anyway, he (Max) messed up the last sector MUPPET!”

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As we saw a few days ago, this was the same paper plane that Norris threw up the window of Red Bull’s motor home. McLaren’s social media account provided a sneak peek of the incident on their handle. On the other hand, Red Bull reacted in a hilarious manner, perhaps to build the hype for this silly battle.

McLaren & Lando Norris denied blocking Max Verstappen after Marko’s accusations

While it is all fun and games now, the incident blew up on Saturday. Max wasn’t happy as he felt he could have put his car on pole if not for the traffic.

Red Bull consultant, Dr. Helmut Marko, hinted that there was some foul play as Lando was told on the radio to not do Max ‘any favors.’

Marko had said, “On the second run, Lando Norris got told not to do Max any favors. Very sporting of the Mercedes squad.” (Quotes translated from Turkish using Google)

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates finishing first with third placed, McLaren’s Lando Norris on the podium REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

But McLaren tried to explain their radio call message as not malicious after the race. Lando had himself rejected Marko’s claim,

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“So I tried the best I could to get out of the way from him. I didn’t want to impede him or anything like that. But I’ve not heard or seen what’s been said. I didn’t block him or do anything like that. I was never that close.”

DIVE DEEPER

Lando Norris Laughs Off Helmut Marko’s Accusations of McLaren Helping Mercedes F1 Fight Max Verstappen

about 1 month ago

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Well, it didn’t get out of hand in the end. It was just pure mind games from Red Bull to build pressure on Mercedes. Although it didn’t work on track so well, they would love to bounce back this weekend in Barcelona.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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