Why Stroll kept pole but Norris was penalised for F1's Turkish GP

In the aftermath of Saturday's hectic Formula 1 qualifying session for the Turkish Grand Prix and Lance Stroll's shock pole position, it briefly seemed his jubilation would be short-lived

Why Stroll kept pole but Norris was penalised for F1's Turkish GP

As the stewards picked their way through the various incidents in a messy qualifying that included two red flags and an hour-long Q1 session, pole-man Stroll came into the spotlight for a possible yellow flag infringement.

TV footage showed that Stroll's team-mate, Sergio Perez, had spun ahead of him on-track during his fastest Q3 lap, resulting in a yellow flag being waved at Turn 7. Stroll was informed of the spin, but nevertheless set his fastest time and grabbed a shock pole position.

The stewards reviewed the incident and ultimately cleared Stroll, deeming that he had slowed down for the yellow flag, but that the telemetry data had not shown as much due to the significant time gains made elsewhere in the changeable conditions.

McLaren driver Lando Norris was also investigated over a yellow flag incident, concerning Nicholas Latifi's spin at Turn 8 towards the end of Q1.

While Norris was also deemed to have slowed down for the yellow flags, he still got copped with a five-place grid penalty that dropped him back to 16th on the grid.

So why was there such a big difference in the penalties applied to the two drivers?

It ultimately comes down to the regulations, and the fact that single-waved yellow flags were shown for Perez's spin, but double-waved yellows were shown for Latifi.

The single-waved yellow was shown at Turn 7 following Perez's spin, prompting Stroll's engineer to inform him of the need to ease off.

The telemetry showed that Stroll "clearly came off the throttle, coasted into the corner, and then accelerated when clear of the incident", as per the stewards' report.

As Stroll exited Turn 8, his engineer came back on the radio to say: "That was a single yellow so keep pushing."

It was an important message, as even thought Stroll had slowed for Perez's spin, had there been double yellow flags, he would have been forced to abandon his lap completely.

This is where Norris tripped up. The stewards noted that although the McLaren driver "was not attempting to set a quick lap time, due to the changing track conditions, he nevertheless did so and thereby breached the referenced regulations".

The regulations in question are buried in Appendix H of the FIA's International Sporting Code, which straightforwardly explains the meaning of the marshal flag signals.

Under double-waved yellow flags, it reads: "Reduce your speed significantly, do not overtake, and be prepared to change direction or stop. There is a hazard wholly or partly blocking the track and/or marshals working on or beside the track.

"During free practice and qualifying, it must be evident that a driver has not attempted to set a meaningful lap time". It then clarifies that "this means the driver should abandon the lap", although there is no requirement to pit.

Therefore as the track improved significantly and offered huge gains to drivers, even when trying to back off and abandon the lap, Norris's improvement was enough to trigger a sizeable penalty.

And in Stroll's case, the fact it was just a single-waved yellow meant he was free to complete his shock charge to pole position, and ensure his fairytale day did not end on a sour note.

shares
comments
Norris handed five-place grid penalty for F1 Turkish GP

Previous article

Norris handed five-place grid penalty for F1 Turkish GP

Next article

Leclerc left puzzled by Ferrari's Turkey qualifying "disaster"

Leclerc left puzzled by Ferrari's Turkey qualifying "disaster"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lance Stroll , Lando Norris
Author Luke Smith
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return Plus

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021