Lando Norris calls out ‘stupid’ FIA rule following Brazilian GP investigation

Sam Cooper
Lando Norris

Lando Norris has kept hold of his first sprint pole.

Lando Norris has avoided a grid penalty for the sprint race but was handed a reprimand after being found guilty of breaching Article 12.2.1.

Moments after Norris had put it on sprint pole, his starting position was under threat when he was summoned to meet the stewards for an alleged breach of Article 12.2.1 i).

That particular rule is concerned with non-compliance of the race director’s event notes regarding the time limit set on laps during qualifying.

In an effort to eliminate cars queuing on track and blocking others, race director Niels Wittich enforced a minimum lap time of 1:14.0.

Norris recorded a slower time during SQ3 but in explaining his breach, Norris told Sky Sports F1 there were cars blocking him and that it was a “stupid” rule.

“I tried to go but there’s two cars ahead of me,” Norris said. “It’s just a silly rule because two cars came out the pits at a similar time and crossed the line.

“So one of them has to back off otherwise you’re going to have to race and it’s just silly.

“Because of them had to back off, I had to back off. So the rule is stupid in my opinion.”

In their reasoning, the stewards acknowledged Norris’ version of events but said he “could have done more to manage the delta time in a better way and therefore consider a reprimand to the driver to be appropriate.”

Yuki Tsunoda, who Norris was following at the time, was also given a reprimand.

The stewards said: “Norris completed a cool-down lap and maintained their delta for most of the lap while following Tsunoda with a reasonable gap. Tsunoda crossed SC2 Line just after Leclerc who was exiting the pit. Therefore, Tsunoda had to slow down to create a gap between them and Leclerc, thus also impacting Norris.

“During the hearing Norris stated that they felt they had to decide between exceeding the delta time and overtaking TSU thereby risking impeding the latter.

“The stewards accept that the Norris made reasonable effort to not interfere with the car in front of them and was at the same time well aware that no car was behind them. Nonetheless, the cool-down lap of NOR was not impacted by other cars on
flying laps. The Stewards determine that they could have done more to manage the delta time in a better way and therefore consider a reprimand to the driver to be appropriate.”