Max Verstappen receives FIA warning for Monaco GP incident, Lando Norris reprimanded

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen is one of several leading F1 drivers summoned before the stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Three leading F1 drivers headed off to see the FIA stewards ahead of qualifying in Monaco, including championship leader Max Verstappen.

Two separate incidents during the third and final practice session in Monte Carlo attracted the attention of the stewards, resulting in summons for Red Bull, Mercedes, and McLaren.

Max Verstappen summoned for driving too slowly

Having had a tough Friday in Monte Carlo as Red Bull struggled to get their RB20 in a comfortable window for their two drivers, Max Verstappen’s difficult weekend continued on Saturday.

The Dutch driver had several flying laps compromised by hitting heavy traffic, perhaps hiding his outright pace as he finished two-tenths of a second off the pace of pacesetter Charles Leclerc.

But, having slowed on track in the final minute of FP3 after hitting traffic on his last flying lap, Verstappen was summoned for an alleged breach of Article 33.4 of the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations – driving unnecessarily slowly on track, with the exact Article stating that: “At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically, or in a manner that could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.”

Ahead of qualifying, the stewards issued their verdict: Verstappen was given a warning for his slow driving.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 1 (Max Verstappen), team representative and reviewed video, team radio, and in-car video evidence and determined that Car 1 was on a fast lap and had to abort the lap due to traffic at Turn 17,” read the statement.

“He was then told to take the chequered flag by the team. There remained some time between the instruction and the chequered flag. He said that he also saw on the TV screens that there were 20 seconds left till the end of the session. He then proceeded to move off the racing line at the exit of Turn 19 and stayed to the extreme left, well off the racing line till he took the chequered flag for the session.

“While doing so, he traveled extremely slowly, at times at speeds as slow as 20 kph. While what he did was not dangerous and did not impede other drivers, he was driving unnecessarily slowly on the start-finish straight and that is a breach of Article 33.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

“We therefore issue a warning to the driver of Car 1 for this breach.”

The FIA stewards this weekend are Nish Shetty, Matthew Selley, Derek Warwick, and Jean-Francois Calmes.

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Lando Norris reprimanded for George Russell incident

Separately, George Russell and Lando Norris were summoned under the same Article of the Sporting Regulations, albeit for a different incident.

Norris was on a flying lap negotiating his way through the tunnel when he encountered a slow-moving Russell roughly on the racing line as he blasted back into the daylight, forcing the McLaren driver to suddenly slow.

Norris made his feelings known as he crowded his car over on Russell, taking to the radio to brand all the drivers “idiots” before good-naturedly saying: “Not all of them, just some of them.”

His engineer replied by saying “I won’t ask you to name which ones are or aren’t” as the Miami GP winner slowly returned to the pits after his lap was ruined.

While it appeared that Russell may be the one to get in trouble with the stewards, the FIA stewards instead opted to punish Norris – the British driver was given a reprimand for his crowding of Russell, his second reprimand of the season.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 4 (Lando Norris), the driver of Car 63 (George Russell), team representatives and reviewed video, team radio, and in-car video evidence and determined that Car 4 deliberately moved towards Car 63 to express his displeasure at his lap being affected by Car 63 at the exit of the tunnel on the approach to Turn 10,” he said.

“While in this instance the move was not dangerous, this sort of action could potentially lead to a dangerous situation and should be avoided. We therefore impose a reprimand on the driver of Car 4.”

Russell finished the session with the sixth-fastest time, with Norris in eighth – the pair separated by just 0.020 seconds.

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