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Lando Norris

FIA gives decision on Norris Canada penalty review

The FIA stewards have made a decision regarding McLaren's right of review for Lando Norris' penalty during the Canadian Grand Prix.

Norris Austria
To news overview © XPBimages

The FIA stewards have rejected McLaren's right to review petition over Lando Norris' penalty at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix.

The British driver was handed a five-second time penalty for "unsportsmanlike behaviour" when he drove slowly under Safety Car conditions to create a gap to his teammate when pitting.

With the penalty applied after the race he dropped from ninth to P13, with the team claiming that he was used to "set a precedent" for a new penalty.

Several representatives from McLaren, Williams, the FIA, Red Bull, Aston Martin and Alpine were present during the hearing to determine whether the penalty should be reviewed.

McLaren argued that notes from an earlier FIA Team Managers meeting on 30 June 2023 and previous occasions showed there was an understanding that such infringements under the Safety Car should not be penalised.

The team presented video, audio, GPS and timing evidence of eight different instances where cars made a gap that allegedly had a negative impact on a competitor and were not penalised.

It also argued that Alex Albon did not lose a position due to the actions of Norris, and cited a previous precedent set with Valtteri Bottas in 2019 during the Monaco Grand Prix.

In addition, Williams also provided three occasions in 2016, 2017 and 2018 "where similar incidents to Canada 2023, were in fact, penalised", according to the FIA.

      FIA argue that "gentleman agreements" cannot be used to overturn penalties

      While the FIA determined these were new, significant, and unavailable to the stewards when the penalty was applied, they rejected these as not being "relevant" because they relied on 'gentleman's agreements' which were not binding in the regulations.

      The decision from the stewards read: "Discussions, informal “gentlemen’s agreements” etc cannot become binding unless and until they find their way into regulatory format, despite the good intentions of the parties concerned."

      In relation to the previous precedents, the stewards determined: "This was designed to deal with a decision taken at a stewards hearing and not an in-race decision where the competitor is not present (nor allowed to be present). Thus it is our recommendation that this requirement be reconsidered to take into account in-race decisions."

      It added: "Whilst there are cases cited where no penalty was applied, and cases cited by Williams where penalties were applied, each incident was different in some aspect, albeit sometimes in a minor way. What is most important to note is that the original penalty was applied in relation to what was considered an unfair action. None of the cases cited, address that issue of unfairness."

        The FIA stewards also determined it was impossible to predict the “cost” of the gap that was created by Norris having an effect on the race outcome of Albon. They explained: "It is not impossible to consider that Car 4 may have been overtaken in the pits if a “double stack” had occurred."

              F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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