McLaren receive hearing date over Lando Norris ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’ appeal

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris. McLaren, P3 celebration. Spain, June 2023.

Lando Norris, McLaren, celebrates his P3 on the grid. Spain, June 2023.

McLaren will have their case heard over Lando Norris being penalised at the Canadian Grand Prix after lodging a right of review in Austria.

The FIA confirmed that McLaren will head to the stewards at 9.30am local time [8.30am BST] on Sunday 2 July to hear their case as to why Norris’ penalty should be overturned, after being given a five-second time penalty for ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’ under Safety Car conditions in Canada last time out.

Any other “concerned party” is also allowed to appear to present evidence to the stewards and, as a result, Williams have also received a summons to discuss Norris’ penalty on Sunday morning.

Why was Lando Norris punished in Canada?

Norris was found to have committed “unsportsmanlike behaviour” in Canada under the Safety Car by falling too far behind the car in front of him at the time, team-mate Oscar Piastri, with McLaren having been able to execute a seamless ‘double stack’ pit stop while Norris was trundling through the pit lane, rather than him having to queue up behind his team-mate.

This saved him and the team both time and space in the race, but the stewards reasoned in their penalty that he dropped too much speed and hindered those behind him in falling behind Piastri.

This, the stewards argued, breached the International Sporting Code and believed that the punishment of unsportsmanlike behaviour fell under the bracket of “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.”

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Why have McLaren appealed Lando Norris’ penalty?

The impact of Norris having five seconds added to his race time was stark, with him losing four places at the chequered flag and dropping out of the points in Canada as a result of the penalty being applied.

With the potential Constructors’ Championship implications come the end of the season and the fact McLaren did not agree with the decision in the first place, the team decided to lodge an appeal in Austria, which will be heard on Sunday morning.

“In Canada, we were surprised by the penalty and uncertain as to the rationale behind the decision,” McLaren said in a statement. “We spoke to the Stewards immediately after the race to help understand the reasoning for the penalty.

“Given this provision [of right of review], the team took the initial explanation onboard and decided to review the case in a calm and considered manner, performing comprehensive due diligence, which included looking at the precedents. After this careful and extensive review, we believe enough evidence exists to a submit a “right to review” to the FIA, which we have done so.

“We will now continue to work with the FIA closely, in the same constructive and collaborative manner in which we normally do, and will accept the outcome of their deliberations and decision.”

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