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FIA explain Norris Miami safety car confusion

The FIA has told RacingNews365 the reason why the safety car picked up Max Verstappen in second place, as opposed to Lando Norris who was leading.

Norris Miami
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The FIA has addressed the safety car picking up Max Verstappen instead of Lando Norris in the Miami Grand Prix.

That move essentially gave the McLaren a free pit stop, allowing the Briton to retain his advantage at the front of the field. The 24-year-old had inherited the race lead after those ahead had pitted for new tyres, having initially been running in sixth place.

Once Norris came out of the pits, he had a sizeable gap to Verstappen behind, which continued to grow - the McLaren tracking the delta time whilst the Red Bull was behind the safety car.

The situation was rectified by the safety car releasing the field, which then circulated and lined up behind the McLaren, which was itself collected by the safety car, thus correcting the order.

"It was a late call to send the safety car out, so they missed [Lando] Norris by about 20 meters," the FIA told RacingNews365.

"And then at that point race control decided to go for a slow lap to gather all the cars and to allow the marshals to start the recovery of the vehicle, which wouldn’t have been possible if they’d let all cars pass the SC [safety car] directly. So they waited until all cars were gathered together before allowing them to pass."

Once the race got back underway, Norris pulled a gap to Verstappen. In part due to fresher tyres and improved race pace seen by the Woking-based team, but also as a result of floor damage the Dutchman sustained when he missed the Turn 14/15 chicane on lap 21. The McLaren driver would ultimately take victory by over seven seconds.

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