Norris: F1 stewards should have rethink after 'unfair' penalty

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris says that the FIA stewards should have a rethink after he received what he called an 'unfair' penalty in Baku.

Norris: F1 stewards should have rethink after 'unfair' penalty

Norris received a three-place grid drop and three penalty points on his licence after he failed to enter the pitlane when a red flag came out during Q1.

Norris was on the main straight and almost at the pit entrance when the session was stopped. He was heard asking the team if he should enter the pitlane, but by the time he decided to it was too late, and he passed the entrance. He completed an extra slow lap before returning to his garage.

In their decision the stewards acknowledged that Norris was close to the pit entry, and thus dropped the potential penalty from five places to three.

Norris said that he had no time to react, and was concerned that the pit entry might be blocked.

"In my opinion, I don't think I did anything wrong," explained Norris.

"It's a tough one, because going at the speeds we do we have to make such a quick decision, what's the best thing and safest thing to do? And I feel like what I did was exactly the safest thing to do.

"For all I know, the pitlane could have been blocked, and you're not allowed to enter the pit lane. And then it could have been a different story. 'Why did you enter the pit lane? You shouldn't have done it.'

"I didn't have time to talk to my engineer and say, 'Should I abort, should I not?' I did everything I thought I should have done. But it sucks, because I guess in the end, there's a rule.

"Sometimes there's some more leniency to certain situations, when the driver has still done the best thing that's possible to do in that situation.

"So [I'm] a bit gutted because three places back is going to make our life a lot more difficult tomorrow. I don't feel like it's a fair decision. But it is what it is."

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Norris said that the stewards could sometimes have a better appreciation of how little time drivers sometimes have to made a decision.

"For certain situations they should think what it's like to be in the driver's seat for a second," he said, "and what they have to react to at the speed they're doing, and the time you have to react to things, and so on.

"I think a reprimand or something is the right thing to do.

"But [also] to have a bit more understanding in some areas, and be able to overrule the actual ruling itself, and have a bit of a rethink on what's actually really fair for the driver, or the team, whatever went wrong.

"I didn't put anyone in harm's way. If anything, I took the safer option out of boxing or not boxing. And that makes it even worse, I don't deserve three points on my licence for this. I didn't do anything dangerous.

Asked if this weekend's FIA driver steward, ex-Arrows F1 driver Enrique Bernoldi, could have had more sympathy for his plight, Norris stressed that the situation was an unusual one.

"I'm sure he has a say on the matter," he said.

"I guess sometimes it's hard to know when you experience that scenario, because what happened to me is quite a rare scenario, to be so far along near the pit lane, not knowing if the pitlane could be blocked or something like that with the speeds you are doing in Baku.

"There's just different scenarios for everything.

"And sometimes there can be a completely new scenario that's never happened before. But I don't know what he said."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Previous article

F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Next article

How Hamilton recovered from his F1 practice ‘disaster’ in Baku

How Hamilton recovered from his F1 practice ‘disaster’ in Baku
Load comments
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021