Norris disputes claim Red Bull car designed for Verstappen

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Lando Norris has shot down the claim that Red Bull's dominant RB19 was designed for Max Verstappen as it has been suggested this year.

Verstappen's banner year has seen the Dutchman win 13 races year-to-date, while his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez has only managed to secure two victories, both of which were in the first four races of the season.

Red Bull and Verstappen's unwavering supremacy has given rise to the theory that the team's dominant RB19 was designed specifically for the soon-to-be three-time world champion.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hinted at the theory recently while Sergio Perez's father also made the claim to justify his son's significant performance deficit relative to Verstappen this season.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner denied that the outfit's designers catered to Verstappen's needs and preferences while Perez himself dismissed the idea.

In an interview with Dutch website Racing, Norris explained why teams don't design their car around the requirements of one specific driver.

"It’s not down to the team to just make a car design for a person," the McLaren driver explained. "Maybe that's in a perfect world.

"It’s our job to deliver no matter what the car is.

"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.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. 22.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Practice Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images

"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."

Norris emphasized that the primary objective of a team is to design a car based on data that indicates that it will be fast. It is then the responsibility of the driver to harness as much of that potential as they can, regardless of the designs characteristics.

"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," the McLaren driver added.

"Yes, you want the car to be nice to you and suit you. But drivers 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 gives us.

"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 quicker 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."

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