Lando Norris pokes fun at Lewis Hamilton time penalty: It should have been way more!

Thomas Maher
McLaren driver Lando Norris battling with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023.

McLarens' Lando Norris battling with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023.

Lando Norris had sympathy for drivers exceeding track limits and picking up penalties, but said Lewis Hamilton should have had “way more” penalties…

Norris had been asked to provide examples of Hamilton exceeding track limits as the McLaren driver stalked the Mercedes in the early stages of the Austrian Grand Prix, with Norris saying he wasn’t going to provide a “commentary” as he felt the seven-time World Champion was exceeding track limits so much.

Hamilton was the first driver to be hit with a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits, having picked up a black and white flag before a further violation in the final sector – all before the 15th lap of the race.

Lando Norris: Lewis Hamilton had about four strikes in one lap!

Speaking to Sky F1 after coming home in fifth place at the Red Bull Ring, Norris acknowledged the situation with Hamilton after coming out on top of their battle as the Mercedes driver’s challenge faded as the race went on.

“Yeah, I was going to do a live commentary at every corner, pretty much,” he laughed about the request from his team to point out Hamilton’s trangressions.

“He only got a five-second penalty?” he questioned, before shaking his head.

“It should be way more! He had about four strikes in one lap!”

Hamilton himself had been highly frustrated by the issues early on, complaining about the handling of his W14 as it just “wouldn’t turn”, leading to his track limits transgressions. Later in the race, Hamilton’s complaints earned him an intervention from team boss Toto Wolff, requesting that his driver “just drive” rather than focusing on other drivers being given penalties.

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Lando Norris has sympathy for drivers picking up track limits penalties

Norris was one of the drivers to avoid picking up a penalty for exceeding track limits, but came out in support of those who had, saying that the errors come about as a result of pressure and that, had circumstances been different for him, he likely would have got a penalty too.

“It’s nothing to do with tyre saving or anything,” he said, when asked why so many appeared to be struggling.

“People on the outside, they complain, they don’t understand how difficult it is to stay within the track limits. Yes, I guess you can say I did and ‘Why can’t anyone else do it?’ but it depends on what position you’re in.

“If Fernando was behind me the last 5/10 laps, I can assure you that I’d have done track limits at least once and then I probably would have got a penalty.

“It just depends if you’re under pressure. When you’re under pressure, you’re pushing a little bit more, you have a little bit more of a slide.

“But that’s just like human error, but it’s also like that’s racing at the end of the day.

“It feels tough for some of the things that you feel like you shouldn’t be penalised for but, when it’s a rule, then it’s also a rule for everyone. So I guess that I didn’t.

“If you struggle, then you’ve just got to slow down. But you never want to do that when you’re a driver. So yeah, it’s complicated. It’s just not as easy as what it looks like on the outside.

“I can assure everyone of that so I don’t have sympathy for the people that did get it, in a way, but I also don’t!”

Norris was voted as the F1 Driver of the Day for his run to fifth in his upgraded McLaren, leading him to get on the radio to exclaim: “Oh really? Oh, that’s cute. It’s because there’s so many papaya fans here (referring to the Dutch fans dressed in orange)! Thank everyone who voted me as Driver of the Day!”

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