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Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Lando Norris says lattice penalty unfair


Sunday’s Grand Prix in Azerbaijan is live on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website from 13:00 BST

Lando Norris said the three-place penalty he received in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was “unfair”.

The McLaren driver was penalized for not pitching immediately after one of four red flags during qualifying.

The usual five-seat penalty was reduced because Norris “had only a very short time to respond,” managers said.

“A little cleaned up,” Norris said. “I did not feel I was doing anything wrong. I felt [it] was the safest thing to do. It’s a bad decision or an unfair punishment. “

The decision drops Norris from sixth on the net for Sunday’s run to ninth.

McLaren team director Andreas Seidl said Norris only had a second to decide how to act when the red flag was displayed after a crash by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi as the Briton approached the pit lane entrance.

The management report said: “The driver admitted that he lifted the throttle, braked and was obliged to and able to get into the pit lane.

“At that moment he was not sure what to do and asked his team over the radio.

“Although the team immediately ordered him to enter the pits, it was too late and Norris crossed the finish line again.

Stewards assumes that if a red flag is not respected during qualifying, a drop of five lattice positions is appropriate. But if you consider that the driver only had a very short time to react due to his position on the track, a drop would fall off three net positions are sufficient as an exception. “

Article 31.6 of the F1 sports regulations states that when a red flag is displayed to stop the session “all cars must immediately reduce speed and return slowly to the pit lane”.

Norris said: “It stinks because I assume there is a rule [but] also sometimes there is something more lenient for certain situations when the driver is still doing the best that is possible to do in that situation. “

Norris also received three penalty points on his license, leading him to eight. Twelve points in a calendar year means an automatic ban on a race.

Norris said: “For all I knew, the pit lane could have been blocked and you are not allowed to enter the pit lane and then it could have been another story like: ‘Why did you enter the pit lane? It has I did not. So it’s hard.

“I did no harm to anyone. If anything, I took the safer option out of the box [pitting] and not boxing, and that makes it even worse. So I do not deserve three points on my license for this, I did nothing dangerous. “

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