Max Verstappen shows Lando Norris gesture after McLaren star’s £35k mishap

Max Verstappen’s F1 Hungarian Grand Prix winners’ trophy has finally been replaced after it was shattered by long-time friend Lando Norris’ champagne-popping podium ritual. The McLaren ace caused £35,000 worth of damage to Herendi Porcelain Manufacturer’s creation, which takes an astonishing six months to make.

But luckily for Norris, a replacement was made in speedy time over the summer break and Verstappen was presented with a complete trophy at the weekend at Zandvoort. “You see? It’s in one piece,” Verstappen joked with Norris, who was in the room with him for its presentation.

The pair then took a photo with the creators of the trophy, while Norris also held up a piece of paper, which is believed to be an invoice for the damage caused by his champagne-popping antics. The cost to replace the trophy will hardly cause a dent in Norris’ bank account, though, with the Brit currently completing a four-year, £80 million contract at McLaren.

Verstappen being handed the replacement trophy was an added bonus to what was another iconic weekend for the three-peat-chasing F1 world champion. The Dutchman extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings with an 11th win of the season and a consecutive ninth at his home race at Zandvoort, matching Sebastian Vettel’s F1 record.

Norris, meanwhile, had to settle for a seventh-place finish on F1’s return. McLaren have enjoyed great success in the races building up to the summer break, with Norris recording podium finishes at Silverstone and in Hungary. But whether Norris stays with the team beyond 2025, when his deal is set to expire, is another matter.

Red Bull’s Verstappen, who is under contract until 2028, has revealed that he and Norris have spoken about potentially becoming teammates, with the pair friends from their karting days. “We talk about it. But he’s contracted to McLaren for a long time. We’ll see what happens in the future,” Verstappen explained to Sky Sports Italy.

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And with Red Bull No. 2 driver Sergio Perez’s future at the team unclear, Ralf Schumacher believes a team of Verstappen and Norris could happen, with the Dutchman potentially having the power to select his teammate. I could imagine Lando Norris becoming Verstappen’s new teammate sooner,” he told Sky Germany.

“The two seem to be good friends. I assume that Verstappen will ultimately decide who will be his teammate. This is nothing unusual. That was already the case with Senna, my brother also had this right. When a driver like Verstappen contributes so much to the team’s success, I also think it’s good that you have your back as free as possible.”

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