Norris: Canadian GP penalty ‘makes no sense’
By Ian Parkes
Monday 19th June, 2023 - 9:02am
Lando Norris has conceded to feeling confused at being hit with a penalty that dropped him out of the points of the F1 Canadian Grand Prix.
Norris delivered a fine drive which saw him make numerous overtakes, and despite hounding Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during the closing stages, crossed the line ninth at the chequered flag.
The McLaren driver, however, was handed a five-second penalty for what the stewards deemed to be unsportsmanlike behaviour, claiming that Norris “slowed under the Safety Car to avoid a delay during a ‘double stack’ for his pitstop”, dropping him to 13th.
The Safety Car was summoned when George Russell smacked into a wall at Turn 9 in his Mercedes on lap 12, sending debris across the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
With Norris and team-mate Oscar Piastri running in seventh and sixth positions respectively, the duo were amongst those that took the opportunity to take on fresh tyres, only for the Briton to breach article 12.2.1.l of the International Sporting Code.
The stewards determined that “during the Safety Car period the driver slowed to allow a gap to form between his team mate in car 81 and him. In doing so he delayed the cars behind.
“There was a significant difference in speed between car 4 and car 81 between Turns 10 and 13 (approximately 50km/h).
“Article 12.2.1.l of the ISC refers to ‘any infringement of the principles of fairness in competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the results of a competition, in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics’.”
Offering his version of events, Norris said: “It doesn’t make sense to me.
“I was three seconds, four seconds behind my delta which everyone quite often is.
“You want to keep the temperature in the tyres so everyone leaves gaps, opens up gaps, and it wasn’t like I was 10 seconds behind my delta.
“If it’s because of the delta difference then most people should be given penalties for the last three years or four years, so I’m a bit confused. I didn’t do anything wrong.
“It was also too early to box from what we were planning to do. I wasn’t planning to box in the first place and then I got a call just before the pit entry. Of course, you go slow, you go quick and you speed up.
“I slowed down to try and warm up the tyres a bit, and as soon as they told me to box I pushed and tried to go as fast as I could.”
Norris claims he was unaware of the reason for the penalty until after a race he was otherwise delighted with.
He added: “The rest of the race I was very happy, good overtakes, good racing a lot of the time.
“I don’t think we were quite on the pace but I made the most of it, there were some fun overtakes and I was happy with how it went.”