Lando Norris has rebuffed suggestions that Red Bull’s Formula 1 car is designed to suit Max Verstappen more than his team-mates.
Verstappen is set to be crowned world champion for a third straight year at this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, needing only a sixth place finish in Saturday’s Sprint to wrap up the title.
It has been a dominant year for the Dutch driver, who has consistently out-performed Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez through the season.
Perez is 177 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ standings, a deficit that has moved many to suggest Red Bull’s car is mainly built around Verstappen.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff asserted this theory earlier in the year, claiming Verstappen often destroys his team-mates “because the car is designed around him”.
Verstappen previously outpaced Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon when they were paired with him at Red Bull, but McLaren driver Norris insists a team cannot design their car around just one driver.
Speaking to RacingNews365, Norris said: “It’s not down to the team to just make a car design for a person. Maybe that’s 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.
“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 said while drivers would prefer to have a car underneath them that suits their driver style, they are paid to deliver not matter the circumstances.
“For me, the most important thing is to make a quick car,” he said.
“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.
“Yes, you want the car to be nice to you and suit you. But drivers get they 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 give 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 quick 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.”