Formula 1 fans have criticised Lando Norris for lacking a 'world champion mentality' after the McLaren driver revealed he did not want to join Max Verstappen at Red Bull.
Norris had been the subject of speculation about a possible switch to Red Bull, but signed a new contract with McLaren ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season.
In an interview with Sky Sports F1, Norris admitted that it would not be a 'smart move' to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull.
“He's in a team that he's very comfortable in, a lot of things are built up around him, so for anyone, even a Max of a few years ago, to go in against the Max of now is extremely difficult," Norris explained.
"So I don't think it's a question of 'are you scared or not scared?' I don't think I'd ever be scared of going against anyone, but even if you enter a team are you in a position to challenge someone straight away and are comfortable to do that?
"I think it's a no for any driver. It takes time to adapt and it takes time to get into place and if you want to go against the best driver in the world it's not the best thing to do. It's not a smart move to do.”
Norris 'scared to go up against Verstappen'
F1 fans on X (formerly known as Twitter) were not impressed with his reasoning, claiming that despite his protestations, Norris was 'afraid' of joining Red Bull and showing that he could go wheel-to-wheel with the reigning world champion.
Eagled-eyed supporters pointed to previous quotes from Lewis Hamilton where he said he would be happy to race against Verstappen in the same car, while others expressed the opinion that Charles Leclerc would also not back down from the challenge.
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