Lando Norris performed a U-turn after he insisted Max Verstappen does not need to apologise for their collision at last Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, writes Philip Duncan.

Norris called Verstappen “reckless, stupid and desperate” in the hours after their coming together as they duelled for the lead in Spielberg.

The McLaren driver also called on Verstappen, who was penalised by the stewards for being at fault for the accident, to admit he was at fault.

But speaking ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Norris, who said he has spoken with Verstappen since Sunday’s race, had changed his tune.

“Some of the things I said after the race was because I was frustrated,” said Norris, 24. “There was a lot of adrenalin, lot of emotions and some of the things I said I don’t necessarily believe in.

“He doesn’t need to apologise and I don’t expect an apology (from him). It was good racing, at times close to the edge, but we have spoken about it and we are happy to go racing again.”

Norris was forced to retire with damage from the incident, while Verstappen recovered to fifth to extend his championship lead over the British driver from 71 points to 81.

Norris continued: “It was a pathetic incident in that it ended both of our races. It was a small bit of contact, but with terrible consequences for both of us.

“There are things I need to do differently but he (Verstappen) is not going to change too much.”

Max Verstappen has told Lando Norris “you can trust me” and vowed to protect his friendship with his British rival.

“I didn’t agree with the 10-second penalty,” said Verstappen, who held clear-the-air talks with Norris on Monday. “The only thing that was very important coming out of that weekend was my relationship with Lando.

“We agreed with 99 per cent of everything so that’s I think a lot already. I always say to Lando when you go for moves up the inside, the outside, you can trust me, I’m not there to try and crash you out of the way.

“And that’s the same the other way around, because we spoke about that, too. There’s always a human reaction, but I didn’t feel as though anything I did was massively over the top.”

The flashpoint put Verstappen’s driving back in the spotlight following a number of run-ins with Lewis Hamilton when they duelled for the world title in 2021.

But when asked about the criticism, he replied: “I don’t give a s*** about that. I go home and live my life. Like I said, the only thing that I cared about is just my relationship to Lando.

“Lando’s a great guy. He’s a really nice person who loves Formula One. Of course he loves racing and he’s just very passionate about it.

“He’s fighting for a second potential win, I’m fighting for my 62nd win. Naturally your emotions are a little bit different.

“I know that from myself when I fought for those first wins in F1. But that’s fine. That’s why I also said let it cool off a bit and we’ll talk tomorrow.”