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Norris calls for harsher F1 penalties amid suspicions of deliberate rule breaches

Lando Norris believes weak penalties in Formula 1 for overtaking cars off circuit are encouraging drivers to deliberately break rules to gain track position.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The McLaren driver thinks it is “silly” that a lack of harshness from the FIA in dealing with such rule breaches means it can be better for drivers to get a five-second penalty for illegally jumping a slower rival they can easily pull clear of, than lose time by getting stuck behind them.

Norris’s comments come in the wake of his team-mate Oscar Piastri losing a position to George Russell in the Austin sprint race after what the Australian felt was a “blatant” move by his Mercedes rival to pass him off track and take a penalty hit.

Speaking at the Circuit of the Americas, Norris said that drivers had tried to hammer home to the FIA about the time punishment of gaining positions off track not being enough of a discouragement, but the message had not appeared to have got through.

“The thing I find a bit silly about it, is that these things have been brought up so many times in the drivers' briefings,” said Norris.

“It is a point we bring up every time and it's a point that George brought up himself in Barcelona, where, with the fact that you can commit to the outside line in Turn 1, and just kind of overdoing it, you can get past two cars and commit to just going off, like we saw people do in Russia, as well in T1 and T2.

“It's something you can easily prepare yourself for. And I'm pretty sure we came up with a conclusion that people are going to do it on purpose.

“We discussed this exact thing. And we discussed that you can easily do it. If you're quicker you could get past someone, and you're easily going to pull away five seconds. Like in Monaco, for example, if you cut the chicane.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

“They [the FIA] came and said, ‘okay, we'll do it, so you have to give the position back’, but now they've set the precedent of not even having to do that.”

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He added: “So I think there's a bit of lack of consistency once again, which I am a bit surprised by. There was quite a clear guideline of what they were going to do when such a thing happened. But clearly not....”

Norris believes that the best solution to the problem is in demanding drivers give back any position gained illegally, or the FIA increases the time penalty.

“If it's your fault, give it back,” said Norris. “You took the risk of doing it, you've committed to doing it, you give it back yourself straightaway.

“Penalties just need to be more harsh in general. People are getting away with too many things.

“You know you block people in qualifying it's three positions, but people don't care about it really. If you've got a quick enough car, you don't care about three positions.

“I just feel penalties in general need to be harsher and that's going to stop people doing it. When you have three positions and a five second penalty like today, it doesn't stop you.”

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