Lando Norris has fired back at suggestions that Max Verstappen is his best friend, claiming their relationship is nothing more than a casual friendship.
Norris and Verstappen were on the podium together seven times in the 2023 Formula 1 season, looking friendly each time.
Yet despite their shared success on the race track, rumours have swirled about the possibility of their camaraderie extending beyond podium moments, fuelled by frequent sightings of them celebrating together post-race - and even away from F1.
'Don't ever say that again'
However, Norris dismissed claims from a reporter that Verstappen is his 'BFF', clarifying that their relationship is built on mutual respect rather than a best-friend dynamic.
"He's not my BFF. Don't ever say that again,” Norris said, as per the Mirror.
“We respect each other, and we get along, kind of friends away, but that's it. We just have a lot of respect for one another."
"Their car is phenomenal,” Norris added. “Red Bull are doing an amazing job as they have done the last few years so for anyone to catch them it's going to be a massive step.
"They're not just quicker in pace, they're a lot better degradation. And Max is one of the best drivers so it's a tough combination to beat. But I feel like we're almost getting what we need to give it a chance."
Despite Norris shutting down the notion that Verstappen is his best friend, the three-time world champion has previously shared a different perspective on the duo’s relationship.
"I get on really well with Lando because he is just himself and normal,” said Verstappen. “He is my best friend on the grid.
"He loves what he is doing. I could see clearly from years ago in go-karting that he was very quick - though we never raced against each other. Everything just came to him really naturally as a driver. Good performances were not just one-offs or hit and miss - he was always up at the front.
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